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Jason Mraz brings his Grammy Award-winning hits to Charleston

November 22, 2018

Jason Mraz has developed a fan base that has expanded throughout the world in recent years. His relentlessly positive music, where the singer and multi-instrumentalist brings to life songs about love and life, has earned him two Grammy Awards and millions of albums and downloads sold.

Some of Mraz’s hits, including “Love Someone,” “I’m Yours,” “Make It Mine,” “Lucky,” “I Won’t Give Up,” “Back To The Earth” and more, have garnered him honors in many countries around the world as well as here in the U.S.

Mraz’s latest album is called Know. Released this past August, the project has already produced hit songs with the lively “Unlonely” and a duet with Meghan Trainor called “More Than Friends.”

Jason Mraz will perform at the Clay Center for the Performing Arts, 1 Clay Square in Charleston, on Sunday, Nov. 25. Tickets range from $38 to $103 and the concerts begins at 7 p.m. Opening the show will be Gregory Page.

Mraz was raised in Mechanicsville, Virginia, near Richmond. After growing up in a fairly normal suburban environment, Mraz moved to New York City as a teenager to study at the American Music and Dramatic Academy. There, he fell in love with the guitar and eventually began to hone his singing and songwriting skills.

After returning to Richmond, Mraz worked at various jobs while trying to figure out what to do with his life, and that included a short and memorable stint at the local post office.

“I used to work at the Midlothian Post Office,” said Mraz. “Man, that was like a real job. I had to take a test to get hired. During the holiday season, sometimes I had to be there at 4 o’clock in the morning because my job was to deliver the mail to the mail carriers. So, I was sorting mail in the post office and it wasn’t awesome because there were no windows and you felt like you were constantly under surveillance. You had to get the mail out by a certain time and there were certain structures for that. But, I am not a morning person.”

If one is not a morning person, then an early-rising vocation is not going to last long, which Mraz quickly found out.

“I was occasionally late and one day my boss said, ‘Look, if you are late again, we are going to have to talk,’” said Mraz. “Not too long after that, I woke up at 8 or 8:30 in the morning, which in post office time is like noon. That is like half of the day is gone. So, I just didn’t go. I said, ‘I quit. I’m not cut out for this.’ Then, I actually got charged with going AWOL from the United States Postal Service and they issued me a letter that said I could never be employed by the Postal Service again. I said, ‘Yes! Awesome!’ because I didn’t want to work there. I wanted to be a musician. I didn’t have to go to jail or anything, as it was more like a promissory note saying they would never hire me ever again. I tried. I thought, ‘Well, that is motivation for me to get my music career going.’”

When Mraz decided to follow his musical muse, he left all things east coast behind and drove all of the way cross country to San Diego, California. It was a matter of exploration, where he used a spring break while studying at Longwood University in Virginia to travel to a place he had never experienced before. Once there, after playing in a few coffee houses and meeting a surprisingly fervent music scene full of other friendly, aspiring artists; Mraz stayed.

From his new home base in San Diego, where he still lives, Mraz began his now-successful music career. Once he hit the big time, Mraz also concentrated on supporting positive causes, from human rights to organic farming. Eventually, he bought some land and created Mraz Family Farms, where he now grows avocados, coffee trees and more.

Mraz is a traveling musician that enjoys getting out and about in the towns and cities that he performs in, rather than hide away in the back of a tour bus. He has played in West Virginia before and is looking forward to returning to Charleston.

“I love playing in Charleston,” said Mraz. “I love that small town vibe, that little oasis in the mountains with the mom-and-pop coffee shops and homespun restaurants. I love that stuff. One thing that I always do is try to find the local coffee shop. I don’t want to go to Starbucks or the chains. I don’t want the chain restaurants or the chain anything. I want to find a flavor in town. I think the last time we were there, we found a little coffee shop next to some funky little consignment store near a natural market that had some proper butchered food and proper homemade cheese and proper homemade jams. There were real local flavors there and it was good.”

More information on Jason Mraz’s concert can be found at theclaycenter.org or 304-561-3570.

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