Jason Mraz opens up his heart
One place that Jason Mraz will not be playing on his upcoming 34-date Good Vibes Tour is Las Vegas. That may be because he’s already playing a special engagement this Friday, May 18, at The Venetian. Inspire 2018, presented by Sands Cares, features the singer-songwriter as the headliner of the annual philanthropic event that benefits organizations creating environments for children to excel, and providing shelter to homeless youth through The Sands Cares Accelerator Program. It’s an event celebrating the kind of good works that Mraz has supported throughout his career by way of songs, activism and a positive attitude.
Mraz grew up in an idyllic Virginia community that allowed him to develop his ideals free of cynicism or self-doubt. A road trip following a stint studying musical theater in New York brought him to San Diego, where he immersed himself in the coffee house scene and started testing his songwriting abilities before small audiences. Playing nylon-string folk guitar became his trademark, and he honed his skills as a performer while cultivating his own soulful, summery take on pop songwriting. By 2002, he was signed and began building a fan base coast-to-coast while touring behind his major label debut Waiting for My Rocket to Come, which spawned the hit single “The Remedy (I Won’t Worry).”
Since then he’s sold more than 13 million units, scoring big with 2005’s Mr. A-Z and 2008’s We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things. The latter album peaked at No. 3 and included his biggest hit to date, “I’m Yours.” He went on to win two Grammys in 2010, for “Make It Mine” (Best Male Pop Vocal Performance) and “Lucky” with Colbie Caillat (Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals). Although the top spot on the album chart would continue to elude him, both 2012’s Love Is a Four Letter Word and 2014’s YES! would both reach No. 2.
The decision to eschew a career in musicals for the life of a modern-day troubadour paid off, but he returned to the theater in 2017 opposite Sara Bareilles on Broadway for 10 weeks in Waitress. Although it’s been four years since his last album, he’s remained active, continuing to tour every year and lead a conscientious lifestyle. He played a free outdoor concert in Myanmar in 2012 to raise awareness about human trafficking, and performed at a benefit concert for the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in 2016. He is relentless in his dedication to the power of positive thinking.
Hence, why Mraz is a good fit for Inspire 2018. He’ll then go on to perform on a June bill with Bareilles, Josh Groban and Michael McDonald for an annual concert that benefits a Richmond school for performing arts, and in July he plays the 21st Annual Woody Guthrie Folk Festival in Oklahoma. This month he’s all about helping Sands Cares and the work they do supporting charities such as Marty Hennessy Inspiring Children Foundation and Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth. Guthrie would approve.
The Venetian, 8 p.m. May 18, starting at $59 plus tax and fee. 702.414.9000