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Displaying: Sunday, Sep 22 for UNC-EXPLORER Early Morning  -  Morning  -  Afternoon  -  Evening
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Wonders of Mexico : Mountain Worlds

Mexico is a vast country, dominated by a great chain of mountains, the Sierra Madre. Journey down this rocky spine and you'll discover an amazing diversity of life and culture. In the far north, secret mountains worlds provide a stronghold for Mexico's black bears, while a violent tectonic past has created the grandest canyon of them all -- the Copper Canyon. These spectacular vistas have been home to the Raramuri for over two thousand years, shaping their life in this precipitous landscape. Travel south and the temperate and tropics collide. Magical oak forests thrive alongside orchids, creating a paradise for orchid bees. Mexico's volcanic heartland is home to restless giants. Their ash helps fertilize the soils, making this one of the most productive and inhabited regions of the country. Mexico's famous export, Tequila, is produced in the shadow of these ancient volcanoes. Great civilizations rose and fell here too, leaving behind abandoned temples for a band of coatis to make their home. In the far south, the Sierra Madre catches moisture coming in from the Pacific Ocean. Rich cloud forests host some rare creatures, including one worshipped by the Aztecs -- the resplendent quetzal. Some of Mexico's mountain worlds are so inviting they compel creatures to journey thousands of miles to reach them. Every year millions of monarch butterflies overwinter in the fir forests of central Mexico. Their arrival coincides with Mexico's most spectacular festival -- the Day of the Dead.

Jazz : A Masterpiece By Midnight (1961-Present)

In the 1960s, jazz becomes divided into "schools" -- Dixieland, swing, bop, hard bop, cool, modal, free, avant-garde. The question of what is jazz and what isn't rages, dividing audiences, dividing musicians, dividing generations. For many, the real question is whether jazz, the most American of art forms, will survive at all. Rock 'n' roll groups dominate record sales and radio, and many jazz musicians, like Dexter Gordon, are forced to leave America in search of work. Many artists use the music as a form of social protest: Max Roach composes the "Freedom Now Suite"; Charles Mingus makes his mark with overtly political recordings. John Coltrane records prolifically and appeals to broad audiences before his untimely death at age 40. Saxophonist Stan Getz helps boost a craze for bossa nova music. Great singers celebrate the essential contribution of vocalists to the development of jazz. The avant-garde movement creates innovative music but appeals to an increasingly limited audience. By the late l960s, jazz is struggling to find its way. In the early l970s, Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington pass away. Miles Davis, after forming his most innovative acoustic jazz group, leads a movement of jazz musicians who incorporate elements of rock and soul into their music in an attempt to appeal to a wider audience. "Fusion" wins listeners, but alienates some dedicated jazz fans. By the mid-80s, jazz begins to bounce back; it's heard in concert halls, on rap records, in film scores and in television commercials. Jazz musicians continue to practice, perform, record, disagree, improvise and jam. As it approaches its centennial, jazz is still alive -- and still changing.

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