Miles Hoyle’s mission statement is clearly thought out. As the visionary accordionist and multi-instrumentalist of the group “Mosquito Cabaret” explains, “our goal is the make music that knows no borders.” Their intention is to extract “a grab bag of sounds” from various cultures to create a unique sound for their band. With the use of elements of theater and world music, they round it out with the addition of “equal parts folk, punk, klezmer,humppa, rembetik.” The result is entertaining, imaginative, with a vibe not typically heard in the music of Virginia.
Mosquito Cabaret originates from Norfolk, Virginia, a city bordered to the west by the Elizabeth River and to the North, by the Chesapeake Bay. Waterways were important conduits that helped to civilize the continent, and Virginia has a lot of them. They also have a lot of insects. Disease brought by the mosquito, which in Spanish means “little fly,” had an impact on the life, health and sometimes, the death of early explorers and settlers.
Miles Hoyle and Julian Ku appreciate and find inspiration in such a connection. Their first CD, “River King” debuted in 2017. Fittingly, they have followed up with “The Modern Life of Insects” in 2019. “River King” received high praise and was lauded on local radio’s “Out of the Box” program with Paul Shugrue and “The Local 757” as well as with Cliff Furnald on KALX 90.7 in Berkley CA and on WPKN in Bridgeport, Conn. It has even appeared and was heard internationally on Rootsworld.org, TaintRadio.org as well as RadioFolk.dk in Copenhagen, Denmark and RCFM.es in Merida, Spain and Radio Pacoul in France. Podcasts that feature Mosquito Cabaret include, “FolkCast,”, “Idiosyncratic Transmissions,” and “FreakOuternational.”
Miles Hoyle performs with, not only piano accordion for the last 12 years, but guitar, bass drum, mandolin and harmonium and also sits in with other bands. He currently performs with the Celtic-rock/Irish-punk group, “The Fighting Jamesons,” and plays bass in a “Ramones” tribute group called, “Shock Treatment” and also hosts a podcast called “Holidays in the Sun.”
Miles, and front man, Julian Ku, collaborate on ideas, but divide their efforts, with Miles usually assuming the role of composer and Julian as lyricist. As Miles states, “It’s been an effective way to write and operate.” As to why the group adopted their name, as Julian Ku reasons, “I figured, we’re going to get the crowd moving, there’s going to be belly dancing and stories full of weird macabre characters. So it’s got to be a cabaret. But what kind of cabaret? Well, you may not love a mosquito, but you can’t ignore it buzzing in your ear. So we found ourselves a totem animal. Hence the name…..” Mosquito Cabaret. So, if you get the “itch”, check out Mosquito Cabaret on mosquitocabaret.com to see upcoming appearances by the group.