Jason Thomas Mraz is an American singer-songwriter and actor who first came to prominence in the San Diego coffee shop scene in 2000. In 2002, he released his debut studio album, Waiting for My Rocket to Come, which contained the hit single “The Remedy (I Won’t Worry).” With the release of his second album, Mr. A-Z, in 2005, Mraz achieved major commercial success. Take a look below for 33 more awesome and interesting facts about Jason Mraz.
1. Mraz was born and raised in Mechanicsville, Virginia.
2. He is of Czech and Slovak descent through his grandfather, who moved to the United States from Austria-Hungary in 1915.
3. His surname is Czech for “frost” (mráz).
4. His parents, Tom (Tomáš) Mraz and June Tomes, divorced when he was five years old.
5. His father is a postal worker, and his mother is vice president at a branch of Bank of America.
6. Mraz has said he had an idyllic childhood: “My hometown of Mechanicsville was very American. There were white picket fences, a church on every street corner, low crime and virtually no drug use. It was a good place to grow up.”
7. While attending Lee-Davis High School, Mraz was a member of the cheerleading squad, school chorus, and drama club.
8. He starred as Joseph in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and as Snoopy in a play about the Peanuts characters.
9. Mraz graduated in 1995.
10. 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.
11. In New York, a friend gave him a guitar that was about to be thrown away, and Mraz learned to play guitar.
12. Guitar allowed him to play music unaccompanied and write his own music.
13. 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.
14. Mraz then enrolled at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, on a scholarship.
15. Instead of attending classes, he headed west on a road trip that ultimately brought him to San Diego, where he decided to stay.
16. Soon after moving to San Diego in 1999, Mraz became a roadie for the band Elgin Park.
17. 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.
18. 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.”
19. Mraz was engaged to singer-songwriter and long-time close friend Tristan Prettyman on Christmas Eve 2010; they broke off the engagement six months later.
20. Mraz lives a health-conscious lifestyle and has said that he eats mostly raw vegan foods.
21. His vegan diet has also influenced his music.
22. He owns a five-and-a-half acre avocado farm in Oceanside, California.
23. He is an investor at Café Gratitude, a vegan restaurant in Los Angeles, and named his 2011 tour Gratitude Café in its honor.
24. His hobbies include surfing, yoga and photography.
25. On October 25, 2015, Mraz married his girlfriend, Christina Carano, in a private ceremony in his hometown of Mechanicsville, Virginia.
26. In June 2018, Mraz penned a “love letter” to the LGBT community, as part of a Billboard feature during Gay pride month.
27. In an article published on July 19, 2018 by Billboard, Mraz said he has had previous experiences with men, even while dating Carano.
28. Mraz said Carano defined him as a “two-spirit”, a description that was criticized by some as misappropriating a word originally designed solely for the native population, and for distorting the term’s meaning.
29. Mraz is a social activist whose philanthropic efforts span wide-ranging issues, including the environment, human rights and LGBT equality.
30. In 2009, he participated in a rescue mission to Ghana with members of Free the Slaves, a global nonprofit working to liberate children sold into slavery.
31. In 2012, he was featured as the first-ever straight man on the cover of Instinct magazine in recognition of his efforts in support of LGBT rights.
32. On December 16, 2012, Mraz headlined the Milestone Concert in Myanmar to raise awareness about human trafficking, making him the first foreign artist to play an open-air concert in Myanmar.
33. Mraz was named the 2010 Surf Industry Manufacturers Association (SIMA) Humanitarian of the Year.