Northeast Ohio’s Caribou Foot one step closer to success

Allison Bugg

Matt and Chris Maneri of Kent on percussion, Evan Lewis of Kent on bass guitar, Mike Zucosky of Kent, on electric guitar and lead vocals, and Michael Marotta of Cleveland, on keyboard, play at The Lime Spider in Akron March 5, 2005. Caribou Foot has been

Credit: Beth Rankin

A distinct characteristic of local band Caribou Foot is not only its name but also its use of free-form improvisation on stage.

For almost two years, the Northeast Ohio-based group has been rocking the Kent area, providing a one-of-a-kind sound.

Drummer Matt Maneri, a senior conservation major, said the band’s music is a group effort.

“One of our best qualities is being able to read each other while we play, which allows us to improvise our songs to create that group sound,” he said.

The band has developed a loyal fan base in the area during the short time it’s been together, often playing venues such as The Outpost, Club Khameleon, the Grog Shop and Nelson’s Ledges Quarry Park.

Until recently, six veteran musicians made up Caribou Foot, many of which have performed with nationally known acts like Rusted Root and Guest.

“One of our guitar players, Drew Paprocki, left the band last weekend,” Maneri said. “He wasn’t as serious about playing as the rest of us are.”

Caribou Foot members include Mike Zucosky on guitar and vocals, Michael Marotta on keyboards and vocals, Evan Lewis on bass and brothers Chris and Matt Maneri on percussion.

The band’s many musical influences, including rock, jazz, country, blues and funk, help blend its unique sound into an original one.

Maneri said the band has hopes of one day making it big in the music business.

“This is definitely what we want to do for the rest of our lives,” he said. “We all have the dedication and drive it takes, not to mention we make playing fun and enjoyable.”

The band continues to stay positive after losing a talented musician, he said.

“We want to tour and play as much as we can because the more exposure we get the better,” Maneri said.

The group is currently trying to save money to record a CD in Kent. For now, the band concentrates on practicing new material and performing in front of live audiences.

“We certainly aren’t in a hurry to find a replacement for Drew,” he said. “We are looking to add another singer at some point in time, but we don’t want to rush anything.”

The band’s next show is March 25 in Toledo. For more information and live music downloads, visit

Contact local music reporter Allison Bugg at [email protected].