What do a mayor, a black belt in karate, a mortgage broker and a marketing rep have in common? These men share a love for and a loyalty to the Mosquitoheads, a band they formed in the early 1990s.
The band consisted of Ed MacDougall on drums, Ron Derrick as lead guitarist, Russ Rogg on keyboard, Robert Wechsler on bass and Jason Hively as vocalist. They held on to their day jobs, but at night the Mosquitoheads swarmed local clubs and private events, and delighted crowds with their infectious rock ‘n’ roll. After a decade of performing together, the band members began to go their separate ways.
Ed MacDougall became involved in governmental work, and is now mayor of the Town of Cutler Bay.
“I left the band in 2002 for politics. There was so much to do to rebuild the Cutler Ridge community, and I wanted to focus on that opportunity,” MacDougall said. “But I love music and love the chance to rejoin my old band mates.”
On Sunday, Mar. 24, at 3:30 p.m., the original members of the Mosquitoheads close out the day’s entertainment at the ninth annual Deering Seafood Festival. With thousands planning to attend the event, the band’s loyal following will hear MacDougall on the harmonica and, with a little coaxing might hear him accompany the band on drums.
Joining him on stage are Hively, a resident of Atlanta, Wechsler, who works at The Collection in Coral Gables, and Rogg, owner of National Karate Academy. Derrick, who was considered the band’s leader, is now a mortgage broker, but also sidelines in music. He and Timothy Cromer, the last drummer for the Mosquitoheads, currently perform together as a part of the band, High Gravity.
“We had a great 15-year run with our original Mosquitoheads lineup,” Derrick said. “When we began to replace departing band members, the original feel was gone. Finally in 2011, we stopped playing as a group.”
Luckily, those who plan to attend the upcoming Deering Seafood Festival can hear the original group perform their diverse spectrum of music. The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. with ongoing live entertainment, fish and seafood prepared by area restaurants, cooking demos, the Bahamian Junkanoo musical parade, pontoon boat rides, a Lil’ Shrimp Kids Zone, Deering Discovery Cove, an Artist Village, and tours of the historic estate.
The Deering Estate at Cutler is a Miami- Dade County park located at 16701 SW 72 Ave. in Palmetto Bay. Admission is adults $15 in advance online and $25 the day of the event, Children 4-14 years are $5, and foundation members are free. This includes park entrance and all activities, excluding food, drink, pontoon rides and rock wall. Proceeds from the event benefit the Deering Estate Foundation.
For more information call 305-235- 1668, ext. 263, or visit www.deeringseafoodfestival. org