SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- When multi-Grammy-winning singer and songwriter Jason Mraz, takes the stage next in his adopted home of San Diego, it will be with what he calls 115 special guests.
On Feb. 17-18, Mraz’s “Kaleidoscope” concerts at the California Center for the Arts in Escondido will feature eight student arts organizations from across San Diego County.
"We’re working with performers of all abilities, all ages, and many different interests. That’s why we call it Kaleidoscope," Mraz said in an exclusive interview with ABC 10News.
Mraz, who grew up in Virginia but began his career performing for tips at coffee houses in San Diego beach communities, said he was determined to support the kinds of nonprofit arts organizations that inspired him as a kid.
“Those volunteer-based programs really gave me the experience I needed to become the performer that I am,” he said.
ABC 10News was invited to a rehearsal with Mraz and Banding Together, a nonprofit dedicated to giving opportunities in music to students with special needs.
“He is really nice, and a nice gentleman, and he does make me smile," Banding Together singer Rachel Ford said of Mraz.
Mraz said performing with students like Ford is an incredible experience for him, even more so than the excitement they feel for having the chance to perform with him.
“By the time we hit the stage, they know I’m just one of them, right? We’re all performers. We all get the same rush from standing in front of an audience,” he said.