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 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 cityís 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 Basieís 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 Bandís recordings, on four CDís with The Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, on many other Cincinnati artistís albums and his own 2005 trio CD RED AND ORANGE, recorded in New York City with bassist Drew Gress and drummer Jeff Ballard.
Steve continues to play regularly in the Tri-State area, including every Wednesday with the Blue Wisp Big Band.

STEVE SCHMIDT  ĽĽ  A Selected Discography

Portrait of George Cincinnati Pops Orchestra 1979 Vox Turnabout
Leaving Blue Steve Schmidt/Paul Patterson Quartet 1980 Thrust
WKRC Presents The Blue Wisp Big Band 1981 WKRC
April Aloisio April Aloisio 1982 April Aloisio
Butterfly The Blue Wisp Big Band 1982 Mopro
The Smooth One The Blue Wisp Big Band 1983 Mopro
First Light Ron Boustead 1983 Mopro
From The Neck Down Tim Hagans 1983 Mopro
Live At Carmelo's The Blue Wisp Big Band 1984 Mopro
'Round Midnight Bobby Shew 1985 Mopro
Crack'd Rib Cal Collins 1985 Mopro
Rolliní With Von Ohlen The Blue Wisp Big Band 1985 Mopro
Big Band Hit Parade Cincinnati Pops Orchestra 1988 Telarc
Fiesta Cincinnati Pops Orchestra 1990 Telarc
Movie Love Themes Cincinnati Pops Orchestra 1991 Telarc
Unforgettably Doc Doc Severinson/ Cincinnati Pops Orchestra 1992 Telarc
True Stories The Goshorn Brothers 1994 Goshorn Bros.
Brazilian Heart April Aloisio 1994 Southport
Man Oí War Fabien 1994 Human Music
Tribute To The Masters Bobby Shew 1995 Double Time
Levels Randy Villars 1996 Leviathan
In The Thrid Degree James Ibold 1996 Mirage
Shades Of Blue, V.1 various 1998 Sastre/Goshorn
Cincinnati Jazz Collection V.1 various 1998 J-Curve
Heartís Desire Ann Chamberlain/ Eddie Morgan 1999
Cincinnati Jazz Collection V.2 various 1999 J-Curve
The Skyline Sampler various 1999 Skyline Time Music
Shades Of Blue, V.2 various 1999 Sastre/Goshorn
Merry Christmas Baby The Steve Schmidt Organ Trio 2000 Steve Schmidt
Cincinnati Jazz Collection V.3 various 2000 J-Curve
Like a Dream The John Searcy Band 2000 Windmill Records
Bam Powell & The Troublemakers Bam Powell 2000 Baby Ranch
20th Anniversary The Blue Wisp Big Band 2001 Seabreeze
Triple Stop Scotty Anderson 2001 J-Curve
Life The Goshorn Brothers 2001 Goshorn Bros.
Steve Schmidt/ Bob Bodley Steve Schmidt/ Bob Bodley 2002
A Night At The Wisp The Blue Wisp Big Band 2003 Seabreeze
82 Hundred Brill Cincinnatiís Premier Jazz Pianists 2003
The Saturday Night Guitar Pull various 2003 TSNGP
It's About Time Philip Paul 2003
Red And Orange Steve Schmidt 2005 Cliftone

 

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