Jason Mraz

Jason Mraz — Singer/Songwriter, Political Activist — Steps up to ‘Save Our Stages' With Belly Up Set

Jason Mraz, left, performs with his band on the NBC "Today" television program in New York Friday, Aug. 7, 2009. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
AP Photo/Richard Drew

San Diego's own Mr A to Z will be throwing his Grammy-winning celebrity weight around this weekend to help promote the nationwide Save Our Stages Fest with a show streamed live at 4 p.m. on Saturday from the Belly Up.

The #SaveOurStages initiative calls on Congress to create a policy that provides federal funding to the live-music industry.

"The National Independent Venue Association is partnering with YouTube for a three-day virtual music festival to #SaveOurStages," the organization says on its website. "#SOSFEST will live stream on NIVA's official YouTube channel Oct. 16-18 and will feature all new performances."

The appearance at the Belly Up by Mraz -- best known for his single "I'm Yours" -- will be complemented at other locations with original performances from the Foo Fighters, Lumineers, Miley Cyrus, Dave Matthews and others.

Mraz has been diving into the political waters even more than usual as of late. Earlier this week, a sort of musical San Diego Justice League collab called "Bad Wolves" dropped, getting got ink from ET Canada (Canada?), KPBS and others. The San Diego Music Awards 2020 Artist of the Year, Rebecca Jade, duets with Mraz on this one, and they're joined by Veronica May, Jeff Berkley, Becca Jay and Miki Vale -- all past SDMA winners or nominees as well.

"After the murder of George Floyd, like many people, Veronica May felt very moved and felt the need to do something in protest of police injustice," the hip-hop performer Vale told KPBS, which also reported that the singer/songwriter May then enlisted Mraz, Jade and Vale to take part.

The song begins with the two-time Grammy-winning Mraz soloing its opening lyrics, "The country's running by bad wolves," before a protester walks past some of the International Cottages in San Diego's Balboa Park holding a sign urging "Stop Killing Black People." Check out the full video below -- as of this writing, nearly 2,100 others have.

In other political moves, Mraz has thrown his weight behind the No on L campaign in Oceanside. If approved, that local ballot measure, for those of you keeping score at home, would clear the way for a development of nearly 600 homes in the North County city, not terribly far from where Mraz has been cultivating coffee, passion fruit and avocados on Mraz Family Farms in Oceanside.

The North River Farms project would be built on a 177-acre plot of land on North River Road, south of the Arrowood Golf Course, which currently houses fields of tomatoes. The developer, Integral Communities, said North River Farms would be a first-of-its-kind "agrivillage development" with about 30-acres of dedicated farmland in addition to about the homes and a boutique hotel.

Want more? In June, Mraz promised to donate all earnings from sales and streams of his recent reggae album “Look for the Good” — including his $250,000 advance — to groups working for racial equality and justice.

“This is bigger than me," Mraz told The Associated Press from his ranch. ”Now the CD itself has a purpose. The record itself actually can go out and serve."

Sales will fund Black Lives Matter, San Diego Young Artists Music Academy, RISE San Diego, Grassroots Law Project, Center on Policy Initiatives and Equal Justice Initiative.

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