You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to www.journalgazette.net/newsletter and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.

Myanmar

  • 5 journalists jailed 10 years for Myanmar stories
    YANGON, Myanmar – Four reporters and the chief executive of the magazine at which they work were sentenced Thursday to 10 years of hard prison labor for violating Myanmar’s national security by writing and publishing stories about a
  • Myanmar camp baby a brief chapter in painful story
    Hours after Shamshu Nahad gave birth to her second child, a beautiful baby girl, her husband was digging its grave.
  • Journalist freed after sentence reduced
    YANGON, Myanmar – A journalist and his assistant who were imprisoned for filming inside a government office have been freed after an appeals court reduced their sentences from one year to three months.
Advertisement

Jason Mraz to perform in Myanmar

Mraz

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 the first international artist to perform an open-air concert in the nation also known as Burma since the end of military rule last year. And he is believed to be just the second Western act to perform in the country in decades, joining Ozomatli’s U.S. State Department-sponsored appearance in 2009.

“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 includes local acts and is hosted by MTV EXIT, the music channel’s initiative to raise awareness about human trafficking and exploitation. It 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,” he said. “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 President Barack Obama is scheduled to become the first sitting U.S. president to visit the nation.

Mraz said 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.”

http://jasonmraz.com

http://mtvexit.org

Advertisement