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Feeling Lucky with Jason Mraz

The San Diego singer-songwriter-superstar stops by Happy Half Hour this week
San Diego musician Jason Mraz on San Diego Magazine's Happy Half Hour Podcast to discuss the Mraz Foundation, Mraz Farms, and his upcoming nonprofit show at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido

I think it’s fair to claim that this week’s Happy Half Hour guest is the most special visitor we’ve ever had on the podcast (which is saying something): Jason Mraz, the two-time Grammy Award–winning singer and songwriter who has gone platinum and multi-platinum in more than 20 countries. His tune “I’m Yours” also surpassed one billion streams on Spotify and was the most-streamed song by a solo artist in the aughts. His eighth album, Mystical Magical Rhythmical Radical Ride, dropped last June. In other words, he’s kind of a big deal.

Mraz lives in North County’s greater Fallbrook area, where he runs Mraz Family Farms, providing companies like Chipotle with a steady stream of San Diego County–grown avocados (and providing this podcast with great talking points). 

Jason Mraz harvest avocados in his San Diego farm known as Mraz Family Farms
Courtesy of Mraz Family Farms

In addition to chatting about his coffee farm and avocado-growing prowess, Mraz shines a light on his upcoming Kaleidoscope community concert, which will take place at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido, on Saturday, February 17 at 7 p.m and on Sunday at 3 p.m. Tickets will be available via this Friday, December 15th at 10 a.m. PT.

Mraz will hit the stage alongside performers from eight local arts organizations: A Step Beyond Dancers, Banding Together, Diversionary Theatre, Monarch School Project, San Diego Young Artist Music Academy, Tap Fever Studios, Tierra Caliente Academy of Arts, and Wheelchair Dancers. They’re all beneficiaries of grants from The Jason Mraz Foundation, which is dedicated to improving access to the arts for kids and has recently expanded its mission to include food insecurity. In 2021 and 2022, the foundation provided grants to organizations working on food insecurity such as Food On the Move Inc (founded by Taylor Hanson of the band Hanson) and Kids’ Meals, Inc.

Offering kids the opportunity to express themselves creatively is a cause close to Mraz’s heart, especially since his fan-favorite turn on Dancing with the Stars. “Over the past few months, I pushed myself creatively, and physically more than I have in decades,” Mraz says of his time on the show. “I revisited what it was like to be a beginner in the performing arts, to immerse myself in something completely new, finding strength, joy, self-acceptance, and pride as I learned and grew every week.”

The experience reminded him of the power of performing arts and highlighted why it’s so important for him to give stage time to local students. “You can’t get better if you don’t practice, and that includes stage time,” he says.

We recap Mraz’s own early days on the stage, including the open mic performance that launched his career (which Troy almost missed in favor of a punk show) and the Dave Matthews endorsement that helped catapult him to fame. 

We also offer reports from the front of San Diego’s ever-expanding restaurant scene: First of all, a hell of a lot of fried chicken is coming to town. South Korean Fried Fave BHC Chicken will open in Sorrento Valley and Dave’s Hot Chicken will open its sixth location in Mission Valley. Plus, tapas and small grower wine spot Finca launched in North Park with a crew formerly from Juniper & Ivy, and Priscilla Curiel will open Mujer Divina on Chula Vista’s Third Avenue.

See you next week!

More information on the Jason Mraz Foundation:

Website: Jason Mraz Foundation
Instagram: @JasonMrazFoundation
Facebook: Jason Mraz Foundation

By Jackie Bryant

Jackie is San Diego Magazine's managing editor. Prior to that, she was a long-time freelance journalist covering cannabis, food/restaurants, travel, labor, wine, spirits, arts & culture, design, and other topics.

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