Steve Schmidt and Lili Shires

Thursday, May 13, 2021 at 7:00pm

Caffe Vivace
975 East McMillan Street
Cincinnati, OH 45206

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Steve Schmidt - piano | Lili Shires - vocals

Pianist Steve Schmidt was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. He took two years of basic piano lessons in grade school but spent more time playing baseball and basketball. It was an attraction to the guitar - to blues and blues-oriented rock bands - that really drew Steve into the pursuit of music. Throughout high school, he spent much of his free time playing guitar along with records and jamming with others around the city. Blues led to jazz, and he switched to piano the summer after high school to teach himself the chords and melodies of jazz.

Soon after, Steve began playing in various pop, fusion, and jazz bands. In 1979 he toured with Columbia recording artist and guitarist Wilbert Longmire. Later that year he became the house pianist at The Blue Wisp Jazz Club, the city’s leading jazz venue, where he booked soloists who played with The Steve Schmidt Trio each weekend for 13 years. Some of the artists Steve has played with include Eddie Harris, Charlie Rouse, Joe Henderson, Herb Ellis, Tal Farlow, Joe Lovano, Mark Murphy, Johnny Coles, and Scott Hamilton. Also in that year, Steve became a founding member of the 16-piece Blue Wisp Big Band led by drummer John Von Ohlen. In 1984 Steve was called upon to fill in for an ailing Count Basie for three nights as the Count Basie Orchestra came through town. Since Basie’s death, he has been asked to play with the band on numerous occasions.

In recent years Steve has received numerous Cammy Awards (sponsored by The Cincinnati Enquirer, recognizing outstanding local talent) for The Steve Schmidt Trio and Steve Schmidt Organ Trio (in which he plays the Hammond B-3 organ). He has appeared on all of The Blue Wisp Big Band’s recordings, on four CD’s with The Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, on many other Cincinnati artist’s albums, and his own 2005 trio CD RED AND ORANGE, recorded in New York City with bassist Drew Gress and drummer Jeff Ballard.

Lili Shires is a young vocalist based in Cincinnati, OH. She is a recent graduate (class of 2020) from The School for Creative and Performing Arts in Cincinnati and is attending the New England Conservatory of Music (Boston), where she is studying Jazz Voice. She is a National YoungArts winner in Jazz Voice as well as a two-time finalist in Michael Feinstein's Great American Songbook Competition. Lili has also been awarded Outstanding Soloist Awards from CPS International Jazz Festival, Western Michigan University Vocal Jazz Festival, and Berklee School of Music Vocal Summit. She has performed with a variety of artists, including Megan Hilty, Michael Feinstein, the Cincinnati Pops, Drew & Lea Lachey, and many others. She has also been performing in various theaters, shows, and commercials around the Cincinnati area since she was 7 years old. Lili is thrilled to be performing with the extraordinary Steve Schmidt while she is attending classes online in Cincinnati due to COVID-19.


Due to COVID 19 social distancing restrictions, we will be selling all shows by the table and not per person. A chart is provided below to help you choose your seat package since selling by the table isn't a feature of the reserved seating chart of Eventbrite.

For parties greater than 4 we may be able to place an extra table in a row or put you together in the standing area in the back, but you must call ahead to see if we have the availability for any given show to make it work.

$10 drink minimum charged per person in the party if the total for beverages purchased by the party does not meet the minimum.

Important Notice #1: If you do not check-in by 15 minutes into the start of the set, we reserve the right to resale your seats with no refund to you.

Important Notice #2: All persons entering the cafe must wear a mask that covers their nose and mouth.

Tickets: $8 - $30

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