Inspired by a coffeehouse legend, comes the JMSM nylon-string guitar.
Inspired by Jason Mraz's Taylor nylon-string NS72ce, the JMSM acoustic-electric guitar has a back and sides of Indian rosewood, a Western Red cedar top, and custom inlays. The fretboard inlay features the words "Be Love" below Jason Mraz's circle/triangle symbol, both in Mexican cypress. The rosette design is a series of zodiac symbols in Mexican cypress against a bubinga background, set in a ring of Hawaiian koa. The pickup is the new ES-N®, which comes standard on all nylon-string guitars. Each Taylor JMSM guitar comes with a custom label and a certificate of authenticity, both of which will be signed by Jason Mraz.
It wasn't far from the Taylor complex that Jason Mraz's successful career was launched, in the coffeehouses of San Diego. It was his equivalent of the Beatles' Hamburg period, during which he honed his talent for blending acoustic grooves, supple melodies, and clever, heartfelt lyrics into compelling pop songs. He played out often, developing himself into a compelling live act who seemed destined to make it.
Jason Mraz grew up in Mechanicsville, Virginia, where, as a teenager, he started writing and taught himself to play guitar, often covering Dave Matthews and Bob Dylan tunes with his brother. He later moved to New York City to attend the American Musical and Dramatic Academy to study acting, but continued to play guitar and sing.
Mraz moved to San Diego in 1999. It didn't take long for him to plug into the collaborative acoustic scene and set in motion a word-of-mouth groundswell. He frequently performed as a duo with local percussionist Toca Rivera (who remains a core component of his live band), eventually setting up residencies at various local venues, where Mraz cultivated a passionate following. The buzz spread to L.A. and beyond.
At times, Mraz's sound suggests a more caffeinated, rock-centric version of breezy jazz-pop singer-songwriter Michael Franks, whom Mraz cites as a musical influence (he points to Franks' 1976 album The Art of Tea as an inspiration). But Jason Mraz brings more of a street/beat poet and hip-hop sensibility to the party, as he assimilates an array of musical flavors into his world: jazz, funk, reggae, soul and Latin music, each of which inject unique rhythmic accents to his fluid, mellow-rock vibe.
Seeing Jason Mraz perform is to experience the fullness of his multi-pronged artistry. His nimble, crystalline tenor, his melodic and rhythmic sophistication, his strong pop instincts, and his ability to unleash a sonorous gush of lyrical wordplay together all coalesce into a soulful groove on stage. His music has a certain lightness to it that's conspicuously devoid of stereotypical rock 'n' roll angst or bravado. On stage, he's playful, funny, and spontaneous. He has a good time messing with his persona: part hipster geek, part street performer, part ladykilling balladeer. Mraz innately understands music's power to uplift and empower people, along with his own ability to use his songwriting voice to make soul-nourishing music. It's a testament to his songcraft that his music connects not only in a coffeehouse but at a huge festival. Through his world travels and diverse musical experiences, he says he's gained a greater appreciation for a universal desire among audiences everywhere: They want to be happy. And through music, happiness is exactly what Jason Mraz delivers.