Though he was born in Chicago, Graae was educated in Tulsa, Oklahoma, at Edison Preparatory School where he played the oboe, acted in plays, and sang in the chorus. He appeared in a production of the musical George M! in the seventh grade. Following his passion for music, Graae went to Southern Methodist University in Dallas, hoping to become a concert oboist, but did not like his instructor's approach. He transferred to the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music only to have his previous instructor move there as well. Taking this as "a sign from the musical gods", he pursued a career in musical theatre instead. He graduated in 1980 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in musical theatre from the now-merged University of Cincinnati – College-Conservatory of Music.
His mother was a dancer in Broadway musicals who moved to Europe after marrying his father; they fled from the Nazis in World War II and returned to the United States. His father was also musical, playing cello in a symphony outside Chicago in his spare time (while working as a scientist), and his sister is a classical pianist. Graae's first agent urged him to change his surname to "Grey" but he refused, wanting to honour his Danish father. He described Victor Borge, who came to America on the same boat as his father as both fled the 1940 invasion of Denmark, as his main inspiration.
- Lumberjack ("Lumberjacks' Delight")
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Boehm, Mike (13 October 1996). "Graae: the World's Leading Comedy Oboist". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 2 December 2016.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Lovendusky, Eugene (4 October 2007). "Jason Graae: Anatomy of an Actor". broadwayworld.com.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 O'haire, Patricia (13 October 1996). "Naked Ambition Broadway Star Jason Graae Reveals Why he's Dressing Down to give his Career a Leg Up". New York Daily News.
- ↑ Everett, Carole J. (2009). "University of Cincinnati College—Conservatory of Music". College Guide for Performing Arts Majors: The Real-World Admission Guide for Dance, Music, and Theater Majors. Peterson's. p. 325. ISBN 9780768926989. "Faculty, Resident Artists, and Alumni ... Alumni continue to hold key positions in the performing and media arts. Numbered among them are ... musical theatre stars Faith Prince, Lee Roy Reams, Michele Pawk, Jason Graae, Jim Walton, Vicki Lewis, and Ashley Brown."
- ↑ "College-Conservatory of Music: Musical Theatre – History of the Program". 2016. University of Cincinnati – College-Conservatory of Music.
- ↑ "College-Conservatory of Music: Musical Theatre – Recordings". 2016. University of Cincinnati – College-Conservatory of Music.
- ↑ Nondorf, Tom (1 October 2007). THE LEADING MEN: Foster and Graae. Playbill.