Jason Mraz puts his music to good use

Entertainment,Robert Fulton

It's been two years since Jason Mraz established his own personal foundation. According to the popular singer song-writer, the Jason Mraz Foundation will have raised one million dollars by the end of the year.

"For me, 10 years ago I didn't have a dime," said Mraz, speaking from a tour stop in West Palm Beach, Fla. "All I had was a dream. Now that I have a savings account that I can only use for good things for others, it's incredible."

Mraz performs Friday at Merriweather Post Pavilion.

The charities that the Mraz foundation supports cover a wide range of issues, from human equality and arts and education to environment preservation and recovery and assistance.

Jason Mraz
Where: Merriweather Post Pavilion, 10475 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia
When: 6 p.m. doors, Friday
Info: With Christina Perri; $40 to $60;

"They're programs that I'm directly related to that I see extraordinary people working tirelessly to make these projects happen," Mraz said. "Music being a powerful fundraising tool, and an easy one at that, at least it has been in the last couple of years for me, it's so cool to create the foundation that I can then use music and the fun we have to make sure that these projects continue to thrive.

"It's of like holding the door open for a little old lady, or helping a little old lady cross the street, times a million," Mraz added.

On his current U.S. tour, in support of his most recent album "Love Is a Four Letter Word," Mraz is traveling by biodiesel bus. His international dates required a number of flights, for which he plans to plant trees to offset flyings impact on the environment.

"I probably have a bigger carbon footprint than millions and millions of other people, so I've got to do something about that," said Mraz, born and raised in the Richmond area.

Mraz first broke out with the song "Remedy (I Won't Worry)" from his 2002 album "Waiting for My Rocket to Come," and hit it big with the song "I'm Yours" from 2008's "We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things."

Mraz's last tour lasted about two years, as the popularity of "I'm Yours" continued to blow up. He started performing at small clubs, then theaters, then amphitheaters.

In discussing the influences on "Love is a Four Letter Word," Mraz cited a break up. But he also said there was a time he considered resting on his laurels, cashing in and becoming an activist.

"Then I realized how unfulfilling that would be," Mraz said. "The music is what's given me all my strength. The music is what's enabled me to be an activist. The music is what has given me my wings. I needed to get back on the horse and keep going."

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