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About Steamworks Creative

Too often, talented musicians and singers perform in loud bars or restaurants where they are simply “background noise”. Also, many music venues don’t have enough seating to accommodate their guests (or worse yet there are no seats at all), the food & booze is way too expensive, parking is terrible (if you can even find a spot), and the shows start and end too late. With all of this in mind, Steamworks Creative was launched as a collaborative venture between a group of performers and dedicated live music lovers.

Steamworks Creative is an intimate space (max seating 50) tailored to solo, duo, and small band performances, a true “listening room”. Additionally we encourage and welcome young people and even those on the autism spectrum to perform and participate to the best of their ability.

Steamworks is a BYOB venue (except when noted for all ages events), and folks can also bring in food. It’s quite common to see our guests with fine wine and cheese trays or their favorite craft beer! We also sell coffee, soft drinks, and snacks, and parking is free. We typically charge a cover at the door though many events including open stages are voluntary donation only. Advanced online ticketing is used for some shows.

This venue is dedicated to the performer and as a result is designed to be free of distractions and unwanted noises. Please respect the performer by remaining silent.

  • Please refrain from talking during the performance.
  • Please try to remain seated during the performance. If you leave to use the restroom, please be respectful.
  • Please silence your phone. No, seriously, please silence it.
  • Also, please bring some cash. Most performances cost between $10- $20. This will go a very long way in keeping each artist on their path to success and keeping Steamworks Creative a healthy destination for great music in Pittsburgh.

Please visit our photos page to see images of the space.

Thank you for visiting our web site, we hope to see you soon.

John M. Vento & Matt Bryer


Our Team

Steamworks Creative is the brain child of Pittsburgh native John Vento. The father of three, he is a successful Pittsburgh businessman, opening CIS Office Installers in 1983, and helping to create many small businesses by supporting and mentoring young entrepreneurs.

John is also a musician, best known as the lead singer of The Nied’s Hotel Band (voted Pittsburgh’s Best Bar Band – 2016) and The Businessmen. Local charities have benefited from his musical talent over the past 20 years; he has helped raise more than $250,000 for Pittsburgh causes.

John’s charitable nature and work ethic have recently extended to a new venture. In 2016, along with Ron “Moondog” Esser, John founded Band Together Pittsburgh, a 501(c)3 organization designed to create and support music programs for those on the Autism Spectrum. He is also a member of the Lupus Foundation of Pennsylvania Board of Directors.

Though John can rock with the best of em’, his love of singer songwriters like Harry Chapin, James Taylor, and Cat Stevens, served as inspiration in launching Steamworks Creative. When not performing, you will usually find John just hanging out at Steamworks, so be sure to say hello when you stop by.

Learn more about John’s music by visiting and

Mary Lou Scherder is a singer/songwriter from the Pittsburgh area. An avid supporter of local musicians and their original music, you will find her hosting Steamworks Sessions, an open stage for local musicians from the Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania area, every 2nd and 4th Tuesday night.

The program kicks off with a live interview and a song selection from a weekly featured artist, which is live streamed over Facebook. After the featured artist performs a few more of their songs, Steamworks Sessions then becomes an open stage format. Mary Lou likes to say, “The Pittsburgh music community has been so gracious and welcoming to me since I started my musical journey, I truly feel that this is a great way to pay back the love and support that I have received from so many.”

In 2012, Mary Lou Scherder bought her first guitar, and hasn’t put it down since. What started out as a hobby, quickly became a passion beyond words and actions. She quickly put pen to paper and began writing her own music and started performing her originals at local open stages and festivals, releasing her debut full length album in the spring of 2016. In just five short years, she has become a regular acoustic music performer at many local pubs, breweries and wineries in the Pittsburgh area.

Mary Lou’s roots go back to growing up on a farm in northern Butler County. Her original music has been inspired by her upbringing which was filled with love of family and music. She has two grown children and is a full-time employee at University of Pittsburgh. She currently resides in Gibsonia.


Jake Leya is a Pittsburgh-based musician and songwriter. Having performed in several bands throughout much his short life thus far, Jake is currently a member of the groups Tears of Joy and Bad Custer in which he plays drums and keyboards respectively.  In December 2017, he graduated with a Multimedia degree and a Music minor from Duquesne University; now he’s back to living with his parents in Hampton Township.  His father, Chris Leya, is the owner and operator of LiveBurghStudio, a house show venue in Hampton where Jake also assists.






Kim Coles – Booking and Marketing