Jason Mraz to make historic appearance in Myanmar
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Jason Mraz will make history next month when he performs in Myanmar to raise awareness about human trafficking.
Mraz will headline a free outdoor concert on Dec. 16 at People's Square in Yangon, at the base of Shwedagon Pagoda.
The Grammy-winning singer-songwriter is believed to be the first international artist to perform an open-air concert in the country. The show includes local acts and is hosted by MTV EXIT, the music channel's initiative to raise awareness about human trafficking and exploitation.
“That's pretty exciting,” Mraz said of the history involved, “and I'm going there with an enormous amount of gratitude and respect, and I hope we can actually make a difference. I hope it's also a testament to the songs. I've always wanted my songs to be about healing and self-empowerment, and if this is the way MTV is acknowledging that, then I am incredibly grateful.”
The show, which will include local acts, will be broadcast on Myanmar national television and will air on MTV's international network in 2013. Mraz hosted a similar concert in the Philippines last year. He first became interested in the issue about four years ago when he attended the Freedom Awards, an annual salute to those working against human exploitation put on by the organization Free the Slaves.
“I thought this was something that was abolished when Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, but all it did is become hidden from our view,” Mraz said in a phone interview from Zurich, Switzerland. “There was a recent estimate that there are about 27 million people enslaved on the planet, certainly due to hard economic times not just in the Western world but certainly in Third World countries. Humans as a commodity is a great way to run your business. So I signed on, lent my voice, lent my music to the cause.”
Myanmar is opening itself to the world since a military junta ceded power to a new elected government last year. President Thein Sein's government has pushed the country toward democracy, and this Monday Barack Obama is scheduled to become the first sitting U.S. president to visit the country.
Mraz says there is concern predators will prey on the vulnerable in this time of great flux. The concert offers an opportunity to “educate, empower and engage.” The 35-year-old singer says he plans to tailor his show to the message.
“I do curate a set list that I feel is going to be part of that educate, empower and engage (theme),” he said. “Obviously songs like ‘I'm Yours,' ‘I Won't Give Up' are great examples. Or ‘93 Million Miles' is a new one where it's about believing in yourself. And a lot of my songs are about that, about believing in yourself and really going for your dreams. Those are the kinds of songs I'll be playing at that show.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pirates hit 3 HRs in rout of Red Sox
- McKeesport gardeners enjoy fruits of their labors
- 10 years ago, Hurricane Ivan brought record rain to region
- 2 men shot outside Duquesne bar
- Starkey: Two amazing Pirates fans
- Steelers defense a long way from ‘greatest of all time’
- Police chase ends with shooting in Bell Township; suspect wounded
- South Allegheny adds robotics course
- 150 attend East Allegheny teachers union forum
- Number of jobs in high-tech industry outpace workers in Pittsburgh, nation
- Pirates notebook: Castillo’s debut underscores challenges in Cuban market