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Cal Poly’s a cappella group, Take It SLO, performed live with singer-songwriter Jason Mraz at the Christopher Cohan Performing Arts Center (PAC) this past week.
The performance was recorded and uploaded to YouTube. Montiel then sent the video to the concert promoter, Bruce Howard, who sent the video to Mraz’s management.
Twenty-four hours before showtime, Montiel sent Take It SLO President Spencer Johnson a Facebook message asking for contact information, and before he knew it, Johnson was emailing back and forth with the Mraz tour team while taking a final.
The group met for a sound check, still in disbelief and full of excitement only four hours before the doors opened. They waited in the green room for instructions and tried to calm their nerves.
Mraz entered the green room and personally introduced himself to every member of the group, acknowledging that he remembered the soloists from the video. He said he watched the video approximately a month before the show, and thought it was a good rendition of his song. The song is not normally in his sets, he said — which was apparent when he asked Take It SLO for help with the words to his own song during sound check.
Mraz’s performance, “A Rare Acoustic Evening with Jason Mraz and very special guests Raining Jane,” started at 7:30 in the PAC with a greeting from Mraz himself. He then introduced his backup band, friends and openers, Raining Jane.
It was an intimate and personal setup, as Mraz performed the first half of his show sitting on the edge of the stage with his feet hanging in front of the first row.
Mraz performed more than 23 songs, with help from Take It SLO on “Live High” and “I’m Yours.”
Business administration junior Eli Habeeb sang a solo in the second verse of “Live High” with harmony from modern languages and literatures senior Maddy Frey, and political science freshman Kelli Rose Normand had a solo in “I’m Yours.”
Rose chose “I’m Yours” as her American Idol audition song. Though she did not make it past the audition round in the competition, she can now cross “sing on-stage with Jason Mraz” off her bucket list.