GRAMMY-WINNING ARTIST JASON MRAZ BALANCES A WORLDWIDE TOUR, A CERTIFIED ORGANIC FARM AND A NEW ROLE AS “HUG AMBASSADOR” FOR BUILD-A-BEAR
Sometimes you have to wonder if there’s a Jason Mraz clone or at least an identical twin floating around somewhere. Otherwise, 24 hours in one day doesn’t seem like enough for all the projects this multiple Grammy-winning artist has going these days. He has a worldwide “Good Vibrations Tour” starting in May that lasts nearly five months, a documentary titled Have It All streaming on Amazon Prime and named for his current hit single, a thriving certified organic farm near his home in San Diego, and a wife who happens to be a chef and designs chocolate bars. (Of course, the most popular chocolate bar is Mrazberry!)
If it sounds like he has a packed schedule, the ever-cheerful singer/songwriter somehow finds time to plant trees in inner cities to offset his carbon footprint, recycle more than 4,000 tee shirts for his concert merchandise, collaborate with organic farmers to establish a new coffee industry in California, and serenade children in hospitals, prompting some to wonder if he’s wearing a halo under his signature fedora. He also randomly offers hugs to fans and strangers. Yes, Mraz wants you to “hug it out,” which is why he’s been named Build-A-Bear’s first-ever Hug AmBEARsador for National Hug Day.
In honor of the unbearably prestigious appointment, Build-A-Bear is donating $10,000 to Jason’s charity foundation, which works to “uplift humanity through arts education and the advancement of equality,” and giving away 1,000 teddy bears to be distributed to children in need. He has also inspired the company’s first-ever Jason Mraz bear, dressed in jeans, sneakers, a hoodie, a jaunty hat and a guitar. You can also buy a limited-edition copy of a CD called Hugs, Hearts and Happiness, featuring his songs as recorded by the “Build-A-Bear Kids.”
When he’s not touring, writing songs and hugging it out, he stays busy at Mraz Family Farms, a thriving, certified organic farm where he grows avocados, citrus fruits, corn, and anything else that strikes his fancy. Avocados are shipped all over the world, while wife Christina creates artisan-crafted chocolate bars made with fair trade certified cacao and select organic ingredients. Boxes of goodies can be purchased at www.mrazfamilyfarms.org
Farming for more than a decade, Mraz clearly loves connecting with the earth and knowing where his food is grown. He and his wife support eco-friendly endeavors such as buying local, choosing organic, recycling, and composting. Married in 2015, they take advantage of rare times in between tours to nest at home.
“I like to stay home with my wife and prepare a meal with as many local foods and ingredients as possible,” said Mraz. “She does all the cooking because she used to run a restaurant, and that’s where we met. Now her restaurant is in my house, and I’m spoiled to death!”