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Jason Mraz brings songs of hope to Santa Rosa

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If You Go

Who: Jason Mraz

When: Due to increased concern over weather conditions, air quality and patron safety, the Jason Mraz and Raining Jane performance scheduled for Sunday, October 27th will be postponed to Friday, February 21, 2020.

Where: Luther Burbank Center for the Arts, 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa

Admission: $79.95-$125.50

Information: 707-546-3600, lutherburbankcenter.org

Editor's Note: Due to "increased concern over weather conditions, air quality and patron safety," the Jason Mraz and Raining Jane performance scheduled for Sunday, October 27th will be postponed to Friday, February 21, 2020, according to the Luther Burbank Center for the Arts in Santa Rosa.

Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Jason Mraz is a man of many interests. He not only grows organic avocados, passion fruit and coffee beans, but he campaigns continuously for a variety of worthy causes. But for him, all of his endeavors add up to one lifelong quest for peace, positivity and fairness for all people.

Not that it’s always easy, but he has his music to get him through whatever may come his way.

“If I find myself in a dark place — that’s normal, it happens — I always use music to respond, and ask ‘What is my hope?’” Mraz said by phone from his adopted hometown, San Diego.

Evidently, with hit songs like “I Won’t Give Up,” “Shine,” “Have It All” and “I’m Yours,” and more than 7 million albums sold, Mraz has hit the right note with his many fans. The local contingent of his widespread following can see the ever-hopeful troubadour perform with his longtime collaborators, the Raining Jane quartet, on Sunday, Oct. 27, at Santa Rosa’s Luther Burbank Center for the Arts.

“Raining Jane and I have a great ‘collaborationship,’” Mraz said. “I instantly loved the voice work. We’re all at the same level. We all share the same optimism.”

In 2006, Raining Jane — Mai Bloomfield, Becky Gebhardt, Chaska Potter and Mona Tavakoli —opened a show for Mraz, and since then the five performers have become a tightknit team.

In 2014, Mraz released “Yes!” which featured 11 of their co-written songs, and enlisted Raining Jane as his band, both in the studio and on his world tour. Last year, Raining Jane joined Mraz’s “superband” on the tour to support his latest album, “Know,” which features their co-written single, “Have It All.” For this fall’s tour, Mraz has pared back his ensemble a bit, but kept Raining Jane by his side.

“We’re back to the five of us, performing my catalog and some of the songs we’ve written together,” he said. “We get to turn silence into sound.”

Beyond the current tour, Mraz is already looking forward to next February, when he plans to present his “Shine” stage show, featuring many of his songs, in San Diego for the first time. Presented by the Jason Mraz Foundation, which has donated more than $1 million to nonprofits, the show will promote inclusive arts education.

“We’ve done the same thing in Richmond, Virginia, for the past several years, but this the first time in San Diego, and we’re starting from scratch, so we needed to find new schools there and partner with them,” Mraz said.

Among many of the musician’s charitable efforts was a performance last month in New York at the 18th annual benefit for Shane’s Inspiration, which has built 70 playgrounds around the world that are designed for use by all, regardless of disabilities. Jason Mraz also presented the “Courageous Spirit” award to Evan Ruggiero, a frequent performer with Sonoma County’s Transcendence Theatre who has continued his dancing career despite the loss of his right leg to bone cancer.

Born and raised in Mechanicsville, Virginia, Mraz moved to San Diego in 1999, then after transplanting to Los Angeles and touring for two years, settled in San Diego for good.

Earlier this month, at a coffee roasters shop in La Jolla, just north of San Diego, the singer and songwriter offered his first commercial release of a coffee varietal grown at his 18-acre Mraz Family Farms in Oceanside.

“I love the coffee culture in the San Diego area,” Mraz said. “I started my singing career in the San Diego coffee houses.”

Now that his is career is undeniably established, Mraz finds his San Diego location, outside the usual music industry power centers, a haven and not a hindrance.

“I’ve gotten lucky coercing L.A. producers to come down to me,” Mraz said. “Nobody ever minds. They enjoy coming down here.”

Even with all of his other projects, Mraz still doesn’t neglect his musical career.

“I’m just finishing a new album,” Mraz said. “I’m taking a break to go on tour, but it’s 90% finished, and my dream is to release it in the spring of 2020. I don’t want too say to much yet, but it’s a completely different concept for me.”

You can reach staff writer Dan Taylor at 707-521-5243 or dan.taylor@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @danarts.

If You Go

Who: Jason Mraz

When: Due to increased concern over weather conditions, air quality and patron safety, the Jason Mraz and Raining Jane performance scheduled for Sunday, October 27th will be postponed to Friday, February 21, 2020.

Where: Luther Burbank Center for the Arts, 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa

Admission: $79.95-$125.50

Information: 707-546-3600, lutherburbankcenter.org

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