JASON CRANE - A MAN WITH A MISSION? We've all heard this statement before, but what does it really mean?
In the case of Jason Crane, it means that he has a purpose for his music - to make an impact on the life of his listeners and to open up a conversation about faith.
"I try not to be confrontational, but still want to spread the
message of Christianity in a non-threatening way. I want to
open doors by sharing my faith behind the songs. People
will take a step of faith when they are ready, and shouldn't
be forced to do it before then. There's a fine line between
sharing your faith and Bible thumping - I want to live the
example. People are drawn to true Christianity when they
see a Christian who is filled the Spirit and who can provide
hope and direction. I am striving to be that person."
Jason has always had a musical background. With the
encouragement and support of his parents, he began
lessons when he was 7, formed his first band when he was
14 and wrote and recorded his first song at the age of 15.
He obtained his MFA in acting and spent several years
acting in stage shows as well as writing original music for
In 1993, he married his college sweetheart, Dawn, and had
the first of his five children. After moving from Chicago to
Southern California, Jason's life took a dramatic turn when
he became a Christian in 1997. "My focus shifted almost
immediately to writing Christian Rock. I wanted to share my
faith using the music I loved with a whole new audience.
One of my church friends, Laurie Kazmer, told me about a
Christian songwriting contest out of Nashville. I entered my
song "Feel It Inside," which was the first Christian song I had
written, and I won the competition."
Jason and his family moved back to Chicago in 2005, where
he is a vocalist at Willow Creek Community Church/ South
Barrington and has led worship at Willow Creek's DuPage
"[After moving back to Chicago] The time was finally right
for my first album. I had spent the last 16 years focusing on
my family, and could now afford to produce a record on my
terms." This first record, Closer to Free, is being released on
the ArtiSans Label. "Ever since being introduced to Mike
Filson at ArtiSans, I knew I was in good hands to accomplish
His musical influences include The Police, Sting, Peter
Gabriel, Bebo Norman, Steven Curtis Chapman, John Mayer,
Sara Groves and Chris Tomlin. "Producer Aaron Ruse really
helped create an album that didn't sound overproduced
because it primarily used instruments without sound
enhancements. It is very raw, warm and endearing."
Among his favorite songs on the album are "Step Aside," an
anthem that lets us know that we only truly find God's path
for us when we step aside and let Him guide, and "Oliver's
Song." The story behind the latter is incredible. Jason's fifth
child, Oliver, was a miracle, as conception occurred despite
family planning. "At the age of 3, Oliver wrote his first song
melody. I recorded his "Na Na Na's" and used that to form
the chorus of the song, which remains my personal