Jason Scheff

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Jason Scheff
Scheff in 2013
Scheff in 2013
Background information
Birth nameJason Randolph Scheff
Born (1962-04-16) April 16, 1962 (age 59)
San Diego, California, U.S.
Years active1980–present
Associated acts

Jason Randolph Scheff (born April 16, 1962) is an American bassist, singer, and songwriter. From 1985 to 2016, he was the bassist and one of the lead vocalists for the rock band Chicago.[1]

Early career[edit]

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. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, he played in a variety of bands with musicians who went on to form Ratt.


In mid-1985, 23-year-old Scheff joined the multiplatinum band Chicago, after Peter Cetera had departed the band to continue his solo career. 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-5 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 performed "Heart of Mine" several years later in 2007 for a theater-in-the-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 Bros. 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.[citation needed] 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 12 songs on the CD.

Scheff recorded as a solo artist, releasing a CD titled Chauncy in 1996, as well as several duets released only in Japan.

He was 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, and Scheff; the second in 1998, "Naturally", again featured Williams, Kimball, and Scheff, adding this time Tommy Funderburk as the fourth vocal.

In the 2000s, he was part of Robert Lamm's solo band for performances and three albums.[2][3]

In 2005, Scheff (credited as Jason Chefe)[4] 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).

Scheff and Lamm also collaborated as the executive producers of Zosia Karbowiak's first international solo release in 2009 S.I.N.G.[5][6]

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.[7] 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 before he was initially replaced by Canadian tenor vocalist Neil Donell and bassist Brett Simons in late 2018.[8][9]

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.

Other work[edit]

Scheff and Todd Rundgren performing in 2019

Following his years with Chicago, in 2016, Scheff participated as a judge for American Super Group[10] and has worked with new artists trying to break into the music business by conducting songwriting workshops and music lessons.

Scheff has participated in a number of fundraisers for charities[11][12][13][14] and has been a featured bassist and vocalist with a number of other artists.

Scheff toured in late 2019 with Todd Rundgren, Micky Dolenz, Christopher Cross, and Joey Molland of Badfinger in celebration of the Beatles' White Album on the It Was Fifty Years Ago Today – A Tribute to the Beatles’ White Album. Scheff performed the Chicago songs "25 or 6 to 4" and "Hard to Say I'm Sorry".[15]


  1. ^ Ruhlmann, William. "Biography: Chicago". AMG. Retrieved May 17, 2010.
  2. ^ "Leap Of Faith". Archived from the original on October 8, 2008. Retrieved September 25, 2017.
  3. ^ "Robert Lamm Music". Archived from the original on September 26, 2017. Retrieved September 25, 2017.
  4. ^ "Jason Scheff Discography". Discogs. Retrieved January 21, 2012.
  5. ^ "ZoSia Karbowiak Website". Archived from the original on September 20, 2017. Retrieved September 19, 2017.
  6. ^ "ZoSia Karbowiak - All Music". Archived from the original on September 27, 2017. Retrieved September 26, 2017.
  7. ^ "Chicago's Jason Scheff 'may take a short leave' from band". Archived from the original on September 16, 2018. Retrieved May 3, 2016.
  8. ^ "Ultimate Classic Rock-Jason Scheff Leaves Chicago". Archived from the original on November 4, 2016. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
  9. ^ "WAQY Rock 102-Press on Scheff's Departure". Archived from the original on September 22, 2017. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
  10. ^ "American Super Group". Archived from the original on September 20, 2017. Retrieved September 19, 2017.
  11. ^ "Russell Wilson Charity Golf Tournament". Archived from the original on September 20, 2017. Retrieved September 19, 2017.
  12. ^ "Medlock Krieger Invitational". Archived from the original on September 20, 2017. Retrieved September 19, 2017.
  13. ^ "Ken Singleton Celebrity Golf Classic". Archived from the original on September 20, 2017. Retrieved September 19, 2017.
  14. ^ "St Jude Charity Event". Archived from the original on September 20, 2017. Retrieved September 19, 2017.
  15. ^ Best Classic Bands Staff (September 30, 2019). "Dolenz, Rundgren, Molland Begin Beatles Tribute Tour". Best Classic Bands. Archived from the original on October 28, 2019. Retrieved November 18, 2019.

External links[edit]