Two San Diego icons are teaming up next week at the Belly Up to do good.
Mr. A-Z will headline on Monday at the annual Rob Machado Foundation Benefit Concert, a bill that Jason Mraz will share with Goo Goo Dolls frontman John Rzeznik, San Diego singer/songwriter Austin Burns and L.A.’s Run River North.
Machado is, of course, one of the greatest surfers of all time, and a (mostly) lifelong resident of San Diego County. He’s also a dad with two young daughters, and before the oldest was 2, he had started the foundation, which focuses on youth and has a distinct green tinge to it, supporting environmental programs in and around his community of Encinitas.
"I felt that something was missing or something needed a bit more attention," Machado recalled this week in a phone interview. "When I first started taking my daughter to school, there was no recycling. It was so weird, like, 'Why not?' They were in their ways …"
Since 2004, Machado has been making his own way in his North County city, most noticeably on Encinitas’ beaches and school grounds, where his foundation has replaced decrepit trash cans with recycling containers and trash bins made of entirely recycled materials. But they don’t come cheap – he estimates costs of between $750-$1,000 each -- and that’s one reason he’s raising more dough again this year at the second annual event.
"The show last year was amazing; it went really well," Machado said. "[Switchfoot frontman] Jon Foreman played a few songs ... Jonny Rzeznik auctioned his guitar offstage -- caught everyone off guard."
Machado said he tapped Rzeznik as a headliner last year through a mutual friend and that the artist had offered to do so again, but when Machado pointed out that organizers wanted to switch it up and had already brought in Mraz to top the bill, Rzeznik graciously replied, "That’s perfect, that’s awesome. I’ll open up for him."
And how did the foundation enlist the services of the Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Mraz? Machado did what he does best: He surfed. With Mraz. And one day, he reached out and asked his fellow surfer for a favor.