Apr. 10, 2023 By Tammy Scileppi
Jason Mraz is back and better than ever! In Queens and across New York City, fans are eagerly anticipating his upcoming summer concert at Forest Hills Stadium (at West Side Tennis Club) on Aug. 17.
The New York Pops, a professional symphonic orchestra in New York City specializing in popular music, will accompany the Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter and his band.
The performance will be the final event of Mraz’s 23-concert nationwide tour, which started last month. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the show starts at 7:30 p.m.
Mraz will be performing selections from his two-decade career, including the memorable folk/reggae-style love songs that made him famous, like “I’m Yours” and “Lucky” – all arranged for the full symphony orchestra.
The audience will likely be in for a big surprise when Mraz shakes things up with his brand-new sound from his eighth studio album, the 10-track “Mystical Magical Rhythmical Radical Ride” – set for release on June 23. The album is a return to pop music for Mraz, who reunited with producer Martin Terefe, his collaborator on “We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things,” the singer’s landmark album featuring “I’m Yours” and “Lucky.”
“It is so exciting to perform with The New York Pops and have my songs uplifted by this stellar symphony orchestra. Working with Music Director and Conductor Steven Reineke is a bucket list collaboration,” Mraz told QNS. “I’m thrilled at this opportunity! Nothing tops The New York Pops.”
The Virginia native has embraced a bit of a Swayze vibe with his upbeat, feel-good tune “I Feel Like Dancing” – the first single and video from “Mystical Magical Rhythmical Radical Ride.”
Mraz once said that the album’s “optimistic, inspiring sensibility” reflects how he sees himself. In fact, Mraz’s mom was influential in the creation of his new work and encouraged her 40-something son to change up his vibe and sound.
“I played her some acoustic demos, and she was like, ‘Yeah, these are great, but y’all need to make a pop album. Because you’re not getting any younger, and you better do it before it’s too late.’ So anytime we found ourselves needing to pick up the tempo, we’d say, ‘Do it for Mama June,'” Mraz said.
Astoria-based musician Billy Conahan is a longtime Jason Mraz fan. He plays with a popular indie alt-rock band called Believe In Ghost! that has performed all over NYC.
“When I heard Jason Mraz was coming to Forest Hills Stadium, I was ecstatic,” Conahan said. “When my band started performing together and busking in Central Park, we had covered a few of his songs, so it’s great to see him back on the road and in New York! I still have ‘I Never Knew You’ on my playlists, so I am hoping he plays that one. Might be a little bit of a hidden gem, but you never know.”
Tickets are on sale now at foresthillsstadium.com.
Forest Hills Stadium is conveniently located just steps from the E, M, F, R subway trains at Forest Hills-71st Ave., as well as the Forest Hills Long Island Railroad station.