Jason Mraz Biography
Jason Thomas Mraz (born June 23, 1977) is an American singer-songwriter, born and raised in Mechanicsville, Virginia, a suburb of Richmond.
Mraz is an eclectic artist with multiple and varied stylistic influences, including Pop, Rock, jazz, Country, and hip-hop/rap. He is popular in the United States, Southeast Asia, Japan, and Australia and has played with various artists, including Bob Dylan, Dave Matthews Band, Paula Cole, John Popper, Makana, Alanis Morisette, Tristan Prettyman, and Jewel.
Mraz went to Chickahominy Middle School (8th grade) and Lee Davis High School (grades 9-12) in Mechanicsville, Virginia. His last name is from the Czech word mráz, meaning "frost". Though he did not pick up the guitar until the age of 18, his musical appetite was strong. After a brief stint studying musical theater at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York, he moved to San Diego. There he became a hit on the Southern California club scene, playing with percussionist Toca Rivera and his brother, latin-pop guitarist Carlos Olmeda, in a regular gig at the now-defunct Java Joe's coffee shop—the same venue where fellow musician Jewel played a good deal during her early career. He was briefly married to a woman named Sheridan; however, they divorced amicably and still remain good friends.
Mraz's clear, strong tenor voice and easygoing, optimistic lyrics gained popular acclaim in 2003 when his first single, "The Remedy (I Won't Worry)," began to receive regular play on radio, MTV, and VH1. Co-written by music production team The Matrix, the popularity of "The Remedy" boosted the sales of his major label debut release, Waiting for My Rocket to Come, which would be certified platinum by the RIAA in May 2005.
Mraz has often collaborated and performed with funk-hip-hop-folk artist Billy "Bushwalla" Galewood, a friend from New York who studied musical theater with Jason. They perfected their skills by jamming and freestyle rapping for hours while living in New York. Together, they have written and recorded several songs, including "Curbside Prophet", a track from Waiting for My Rocket to Come which was later released as a promotional single. They both describe each other as one of their biggest influences.
In June and July, Mraz opened for Alanis Morissette during her Jagged Little Pill Acoustic Tour. On July 26, 2005, he released the follow-up album, Mr. A-Z, to his major label debut Waiting for My Rocket to Come. It entered the Billboard 200 album chart at No. 5, selling nearly 90,000 copies in its first week; later on in December, the album earned a Grammy Award nomination for Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical, while its producer, Steve Lillywhite, received a nomination for Producer of the Year.
In January of 2006, Mraz had two concerts in Makati and Taguig City, Philippines to promote his album Mr. A-Z. They were held at the Rockwell Tent in Makati and the NBC Tent in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City. In February and March, he toured the U.K. and Ireland with James Blunt.
In March, Mraz also performed for the first time in Singapore as part of the annual Mosaic Music Festival. Following that, he toured Australia to promote Mr. A-Z. While in Melbourne he performed at sold-out shows in Manchester Lane for two nights in a row. His Sydney shows, also sold-out, took place at the the Vanguard.
In May, Mraz toured mostly small venues and music festivals in the U.S., along with a few shows in the United Kingdom and Ireland. The tour included a May 6 acoustic show with P.O.D., Better Than Ezra, Live, and The Presidents.
Mraz split with singer-songwriter and former Roxy model Tristan Prettyman, whom he met at Java Joe's in San Diego.
Mraz opened on July 7, 8, 9, and 12th for Rob Thomas during his summer 2006 tour which promoted his solo album, Something to Be
Jason Mraz performed at Pentaport Rock Festival in Korea on July 28th and Fuji Rock Festival in Japan on July 30th.
In August, Mraz returned to Australia for the second time this year to perform a short "acoustic trio" tour of the main Australian cities.
Following a couple of US shows, including a one-off at old haunt the Belly Up Tavern on Labor Day Day in San Diego, Jason is taking a break from his relentless touring schedule to begin work on his third album, which he has said will be much more acoustic than his previous efforts.
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