Eli Orfanos: Guitar/Lead & Back up vocals Eli (aka: “Bongo Mike’s” older 1st cousin) is the bands lead vocalist, lead guitarist. Most of his influences are rooted in Classic rock, and the Soul music of the late 60’s, and early 70’s. His voice was formed by emulating the vocal styles of all the great Motown singers. Guitar influences include: Carlos Santana, Duane Allman, BB King, Jimmy Page, and Pete Townshend. Eli is always on the look out for a great melody, either to sing or play on his guitar.
Jill Cornelius: Lead Vocals Jill is the newest member of the group, and she brings a nice blend of lead vocals and backing harmonies to the mix of songs that we cover. Her experience in other bands throughout the Chicagoland area made the transition to The Mosquitos effortless. Jill is influenced by singers such as Fiona Apple, Joan Osbourne, and Natalie Merchant. In addition to her vocal stylings, she plays a variety of hand percussion to add to the mix of rhythm. She especially likes to play the "Goat Toe Rattle"!!!! .
Glenn McHenry:Bass Guitar/Backup vocals Before Glenn joined the Mosquitos, the Bass position saw a mish mash of players: a little Ron, a little Eli, and a little Bob (pass the hot potato!.) When we talk about The Mosquitos after Glenn joined, we talk about how his playing has elevated the rhythm section to greater levels. Glenn brings years of expertise to the mix. His influences come from Blues Jazz, & Classic rock music. When he plays you hear Jack Bruce, John Entwhitsle, and if you listen closely he might even pull off a Jaco P. run from time to time.
Jeff Ambrose: Percussion Jeff – Djembe, mini congas, blocks, bells, and assorted hand percussion. Jeff is the second percussionist who fills in the rhythm with several different percussion instruments. His playing rounds out and compliments the rhythmic sound of the band. He is influenced by a variety of styles, but still gravitates towards the funky reggae beats of bands such as The Dead, The Allman Bros., Traffic, etc.
Mike Orfanos:Percussion Mike - (aka: "Bongo Mike") Plays congas, bongos, timbales, shakers, assorted drums & percussion. The band's true "rock historian" is influenced by such musical acts as Santana, Rare Earth, The Grateful Dead, and much much more. He has a love for all that old 60's and 70's rock and roll, and is constantly searching for classic tunes and forgotten nuggets for new material that the band can interpret and percussify!!!!
Ray Kirschner:Keyboards/Back up Vocals Behind every great jam band there is a great keyboard player. Ray brings over 25 years of musicianship to the mix. Ray’s love of R&B, Blues, Motown, and the classic rock of the 60’s and 70’s have provided some interesting soundscapes to the Mosquitos. His piano and organ sounds are the saucy part of the band. Plus he’s the only who can actually read music.
Ron Hoshizaki: Guitar/Back up Vocals “The Hosh man” as we call him, brings an elegant yet rockin' style of playing to the game. Ron’s guitar influences are guys like, Pete Townshend, Keith Richards, Jimmy Page, Carlos Santana. However it was the thrash guitar styles of the 70’s 80 punk movements that spark his aggressive style. But don’t let that fool you, he can blow you way with mind blowing melodic improvational Guitar solos at a drop of a dime! The Mosquitos Secret weapon (check out some of his rhythm guitar work too…Wow!)
Jeff Fite:Drums Jeff picked up his first set of sticks at a friends house when he was 7 years old. Early on, Jeff studied with Jake Jerger:, then he spent time at Berklee studying with Gary Chaffee and other faculty before returning to Chicago where he studied with Mark Walker. After receiving a percussion performance certification, Jeff played with many bands before replanting his roots around Chicago. Some of those bands include Numbers, Expose, The Rob Zetti Trio, Mosaic, Funk Revolution, Second Time Around, Last Exit South, and Vic Lombardi and the Chicago Seven. He has spent time playing a wide variety of genres including Jazz, Latin, Rock, Prog/rock and Funk. He has also spent 15 years playing and recording with the Willow Creek Community Church music ministry. Along with the Mosquitos, Jeff is currently playing with Chicago based band Whatismu, as well as Latin/ Jazz band Jazzilla. Jeff has been on staff at the Music Workshop in Mundelein since 2006 teaching drums and percussion.