I wish I could talk to you about Jason Mraz like other people talk about Michelle Obama.
Michelle was a great First Lady, yet so much more. Who she was, how she showed up, what she stood for – that was what made her shine in people’s hearts.
Yes – Jason Mraz is an incredibly gifted and Grammy decorated artist, yet is so much more. And it is from a place of total admiration and respect that I both follow and look up to him.
I’ve been watching Jason Mraz from the sidelines for the last 14 years. I’ve watched him transition through relationships, bandmates, musical instruments, cities, venues, and hairstyle choices. Over that time, my life shifted too – new relationships, new professions, new cities, new hairstyle choices. There is something weirdly comforting about growing up alongside a stranger.
I learned about new organizations that align with my values through his Jason Mraz Foundation dedicated to uplift humanity through arts education and the advancement of equality. He shows up with intention, with such integrity to his word, and a way of leading that is both incredibly conscious and a bit goofy. He can make me laugh in one minute and then have me in tears in the next. I am in awe.
Going to his 40th birthday party was an unforgettable experience. I like to think it was a personal invite – yet I think the 15,642 people that also attended his birthday concert may argue differently.
Needless to say, he performed an almost 4 hour concert fit for friends and fans. His Superband was comprised of his original mates (heyo Toca & Leroy), the Grooveline Horns, his step-dad on percussion, an incredible kids choir from Tesoro High School, and the ladies, frig, the ladies that took centre stage – Raining Jane, Colbie Caillat, and Sara Bareilles all delivered powerful performances.
Women in front. Kids on stage. Chosen family through the ages. Values personified.
At intermission (which he referred to as an “inner-mission” – a break to check-in with yourself), a video featuring Al Gore, Willie Nelson, Cindi Lauper, Kevin Spacey, and many more wishing Jason a happy birthday came on. They also thanked him for the impact he was making – his advocacy for the environment, for arts in schools, for equality.
The most memorable moment of the night was when Jason told us the story of moving to California, having one friend, and sitting in the Hollywood Bowl dreaming of being able to play back to an audience there. And now, he had 15,000 people come to his birthday party as he sang to the little kid in the back row with big dreams. Dreams realized.
The chords of “I Won’t Give Up” started to play, and I grabbed my man’s hand a little tighter.
When I look into your eyes
It’s like watching the night sky
Or a beautiful sunrise
There’s so much they hold
And just like them old stars
I see that you’ve come so far
To be right where you are
How old is your soul?
I don’t wanna be someone who walks away so easily – I’m here to stay and make the difference that I can make.
Our differences they do a lot to teach us how to use the tools and gifts we got, yeah, we got a lot at stake.
And in the end, you’re still my friend
At least we did intend for us to work
We didn’t break
We didn’t burn
We had to learn how to bend without the world caving in
I had to learn what I’ve got, and what I’m not, and who I am.
I won’t give up on us, even if the skies get rough
I’m giving you all my love
I’m still looking up, still looking up.
The last few months have been real. My man and I both have big goals that we’re chasing and navigating that adventure together has it’s amazing highs and not-so-awesome lows.
And while he didn’t know who Jason Mraz was, or knew any of the songs, or even think he had the time to come to LA with me … he still showed up.
Jason sang into the night sky, my man stood beside me, and tears welled up in my eyes.
It was a perfect reminder of what is possible when a little tenacity, and a whole lotta love, is added in.
Congrats on the last 16 years of musical magic Jason and for throwing one heckuva concert.
And thanks babe. You were the best part of that whirlwind trip to LA.