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.
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 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 in the Athletic Department of Slippery Rock University. She currently resides in Gibsonia.
Jake Leya is a Pittsburgh-based musician and songwriter as well as the Venue Manager at Steamworks Creative. 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.