Scheff in 2013
|Birth name||Jason Randolph Scheff|
|Born||April 16, 1962|
San Diego, California, U.S.
Scheff was a graduate of the Class of 1980 at San Diego's Point Loma High School. He started his professional musical career in 1982 as a member of the Los Angeles–based rock band named Keane (not to be confused with the English band of the same name). In the late 1970s and early 1980s, he played in a variety of bands with musicians who would go on to form Ratt.
In mid-1985, 23-year-old Scheff joined the multi-platinum band Chicago, after Peter Cetera had departed the band to continue his solo career. Scheff was noted for his uncanny vocal resemblance to Cetera. His lead vocals were debuted on the 1986 single "25 or 6 to 4," a remake of their 1970 hit, then followed up with "Will You Still Love Me?"
In addition to performing the band's classic material, Scheff had composed several original songs for the band, including their 1989 Top 10 single "What Kind of Man Would I Be?" Scheff also co-wrote the song "Heart of Mine" with Bobby Caldwell and Dennis Matkosky. The song became a big hit for Boz Scaggs in 1988 and was included in the 1988 Boz Scaggs album "Other Roads" and the collection Hits!. Scheff would perform "Heart of Mine" several years later in 2007 for a theater in a round setting at the Bluebird Cafe in Nashville. Scheff, along with co-writers Peter Wolf and Ina Wolf, wrote the song "Bigger Than Elvis" in 1993 for what was intended to be Chicago's 22nd album. This song is about his father, Jerry Scheff, describing Jason's childhood memories of watching his father play on television. The album however, was rejected by Warner Brothers in 1993, and remained unreleased until 2008 when Rhino released it as Chicago XXXII: Stone of Sisyphus. In 2005, Scheff and Chicago founding member Robert Lamm convinced the band to record Chicago XXX, their first collection of new material since 1991's Twenty 1. Scheff also enlisted Rascal Flatts vocalist and bassist Jay DeMarcus to serve as producer for the new album, which was released on March 21, 2006. Scheff co-wrote seven of the twelve songs on the CD.
Scheff has also recorded as a solo artist, releasing a CD titled Chauncy in 1996, as well as several duets released only in Japan.
He would be part of two a cappella releases by "West Coast All Stars". The first in 1997 called "California Dreamin'" included vocals by Joseph Williams, Bill Champlin, Bobby Kimball & Scheff; the second in 1998, "Naturally", again would feature Williams, Kimball and Scheff adding this time Tommy Funderburk as the fourth vocal.
In 2005, Scheff (credited as Jason Chefe) appeared on the Pink Floyd tribute album Back Against the Wall, performing lead vocals and bass on the track "Run Like Hell", together with Dweezil Zappa (lead guitar), Tony Kaye (keyboard solo), Aynsley Dunbar (drums), Bob Kulick (electric guitar), and Billy Sherwood (keyboards).
A few weeks after performing with Chicago for the band's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction in April 2016, Scheff took a leave of absence from the band. Singer/bassist Jeff Coffey filled in for him on the summer tour. In October of that year, Scheff amicably left Chicago, with Coffey as his successor.
Although Scheff had already departed Chicago, he appeared in January 2017 in the CNN feature film by Peter Pardini Now More Than Ever: The History of Chicago.
Following his years with Chicago, in 2016, Scheff participated as a judge for American Super Group and has worked with new artists trying to break into the music business conducting songwriting workshops and music lessons.
- Ruhlmann, William. "Biography: Chicago". AMG. Retrieved May 17, 2010.
- "Leap Of Faith".
- "Robert Lamm Music".
- "Jason Scheff Discography". Discogs. Retrieved January 21, 2012.
- "ZoSia Karbowiak Website".
- "ZoSia Karbowiak - All Music".
- "Chicago's Jason Scheff 'may take a short leave' from band".
- "Ultimate Classic Rock-Jason Scheff Leaves Chicago".
- "WAQY Rock 102-Press on Scheff's Departure".
- "American Super Group".
- "Russell Wilson Charity Golf Tournament".
- "Medlock Krieger Invitational".
- "Ken Singleton Celebrity Golf Classic".
- "St Jude Charity Event".