Happy Birthday to Jason Randolph Scheff – born April 16, 1962 | Jason Randolph Scheff


Jason Randolph Scheff is an American bassist, singer, and songwriter. From 1985 to 2016 he was the bassist and singer for the veteran pop-rock band Chicago.

Scheff was a graduating member 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 ability to closely duplicate Cetera’s vocal parts on Chicago’s existing hits. His ability with lead vocals was debuted on the 1986 single “25 or 6 to 4,” a remake of their 1970 hit, then followed up with lead vocals on the single “Will You Still Love Me?”.

In addition to performing the band’s classic material, Scheff has 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, and the song became a big hit for Boz Scaggs in 1988. It was included in the 1988 Boz Scaggs album “Other Roads” and the collection Hits!. 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 him play. 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 entitled Chauncy in 1996, as well as several duets released only in Japan.

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), Billy Sherwood (keyboards).

In late 2006, Scheff joined indie super group L.E.O. to create the album Alpacas Orgling, a tribute to Jeff Lynne and the Electric Light Orchestra. Alpacas Orgling was released in October 2006, to generally positive reviews.

As of November 2007, Scheff began broadcasting his vocals and music work over the Internet via Ustream.tv.

Scheff and Chicago co founder Robert Lamm, were the executive producers of Zosia Karbowiak’s 2009 solo album titled S.I.N.G.

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.

Other work

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.

Scheff has participated in a number of fundraisers for charities and has been a featured bassist and vocalist with a number of other artists.

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