About Jason Mraz
Jason Thomas Mraz is an American singer, songwriter, and guitarist. In 2002 he released his debut studio album, Waiting for My Rocket to Come, which contained the single "The Remedy " that reached number 15 on the Billboard Hot 100, his first top-40 hit in the US. His second album, Mr. A-Z, released in 2005, peaked at number 5 on the Billboard 200 and sold over 100,000 copies in the US. In 2008 Mraz released his third studio album, We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things. It debuted at number 3 on the Billboard 200 and was an international commercial success primarily due to the hit "I'm Yours". The song peaked at number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100, giving him his first top ten single, spent a then-record 76 weeks on the Hot 100, and was certified Diamond by the RIAA in 2019. His fourth album, Love Is a Four Letter Word, peaked at number 2 on the Billboard 200, his highest-charting album to date.
Mraz has won two Grammy Awards and received two additional nominations, and has also won two Teen Choice Awards, a People's Choice Award and the Hal David Songwriters Hall of Fame Award. He has earned Platinum and multi-Platinum certifications in over 20 countries, and has toured in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Australia, the Middle East and parts of Africa. As of July 2014 Mraz has sold over seven million albums, and over 11.5 million downloaded singles. His musical style, from rhythmic feeling to his use of nylon string guitars, has been heavily influenced by Brazilian music.
Mraz was born and raised in Mechanicsville, Virginia. He is of Czech and Slovak descent through his grandfather, who moved to the United States from Austria-Hungary in 1915. His surname is Czech for '"frost"' ). His parents, Tom Mraz and June Tomes, divorced when he was five years old. His father is a postal worker, and his mother is vice president at a branch of Bank of America.
While attending Lee-Davis High School, Mraz was a member of the cheerleading squad, school chorus, and drama club. He starred as Joseph in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and as Snoopy in a play about the Peanuts characters. Mraz graduated in 1995.
After high school, Mraz attended the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City for about a year and a half, originally to work in musical theater. In New York, a friend gave him a guitar that was about to be thrown away, and Mraz learned to play guitar. Having a guitar allowed him to play music unaccompanied and write his own music. Mraz moved to the Shockoe Bottom neighborhood of Richmond, Virginia, where he took a series of odd jobs, including elementary-school janitor, and joined the Ashland Stage Company. Mraz then enrolled at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, on a scholarship. Instead of attending classes, he headed west on a road trip that ultimately brought him to San Diego, where he decided to stay.
Soon after moving to San Diego in 1999, Mraz became a roadie for the band Elgin Park. He met future band member Toca Rivera at the coffee house Java Joe's in the Ocean Beach neighborhood of San Diego, where he performed once a week for nearly three years, building a following in San Diego and online. Mraz released A Jason Mraz Demonstration in 1999, From the Cutting Room Floor and Oh Love, In Sadness in 2001, which were self-released and pressed in a limited number of copies. In 2001, Mraz released the live acoustic album Live at Java Joe's, performing with percussionist Rivera and bassist Ian Sheridan. The album featured Mraz's freelancing vocal style and several songs he would later re-release, including "1000 Things", "You and I Both" and "Halfway Home." The album was made available to download on iTunes on March 11, 2008, under the title Jason Mraz: Live & Acoustic 2001. Mraz returned to perform at Java Joe's for the 15th anniversary of the album since September 21, 2002. Mraz' last self-released album was Sold Out in March 21, 2002.
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