Jason Mraz to perform with Contemporary Youth Orchestra

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CLEVELAND -- A Grammy award winning musician is pairing up with the Contemporary Youth Orchestra for special concert next summer.

It was perhaps the last thing that members of the contemporary youth orchestra expected at practice the other day;  they received a video message from Jason Mraz.

"What's up it's Jason Mraz here!" The message began.

And, Mraz had a special announcement for the young musicians

"Me, you ,June 2019 -- CYO and Mraz. I'm very, very excited. Thank you for the journey," Mraz said on video.

"I was taking the ACT and I got a string of text from my friends and my phone goes off in the middle of the ACT! But, it's a video of the Jason Mraz promo. I almost got my test canceled," violinist Lucas Tai said.

Tai and Alexis Wilson are part of the Contemporary Youth Orchestra.

CYO is made up of some of the finest young musicians in northeast Ohio.  They play a little bit of everything from classical concerts, experimental music to concerts with artists like Ben Folds.  Essentially, they play it all which is something that drew Mraz to the project.

And the young musicians said they can't wait for a chance to collaborate with him.

"We're going to learn so much and be able to grow so much from this. And, learning his message and being able to enact that in our own way," Wilson said.

At first there was only going to be one show with Mraz, but it sold out so quickly that a second was added.  And, even though the show is several months away, the orchestra and the artist are already working to make it something special.

"Jason emailed me right away 'I'm so excited about this, thank you for this.'" CYO Executive Director Liza Grossman said, "The humble nature of who this human is really, really came through and what rang true about this for me is the honesty he has for that in his music"

Normally CYO plays at Cuyahoga Community College but Mraz waned to play at Severance Hall because the place has a rich history plus this is the first time he's gong to play with an orchestra so he wanted it to sound great and be something special.

The first show on June 8 is already sold out but there are tickets still available to for the second show on June 9.  It's an opportunity for both Mraz and the students to both grow as artists and make music of their own to share with everyone.

"I think Jason Mraz has his own unique message about the human experience and it think we''ll be able to repackage it and re-purpose it and give it a whole new light," Tai said.

You can purchase tickets for the June 9 show, here.

More on CYO, here.

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