On the evening of February 25th the Alez Haitian Cuisine in Tampa was transformed into a recital venue where several young and aspiring musicians and vocalists from the Koss Music and Cultural Arts Institute thrilled the audience.
The Koss Kids, as they are fondly known, are trained at the renowned Koss Music and Cultural Arts Institute in Lutz, Florida. The kids are mostly from the Pasco County area and are trained to read, write and play music by Executive Director Greg Koss and several other professional volunteers. The Alez Haitian Cuisine restaurant is located in the Fletcher Regency Plaza could well have been a specialty concert hall that night. To top it off, a buffet of Caribbean cuisine was served as patrons filled the large room. Click this link to see more Koss Kids in action.
Through collaboration with the Rotary, the Community Foundation and the Alez Haitian Cuisine, about 29 of the Institute's students ranging from five to nineteen years old performed for the audience. Students played the guitar, flute, piano, drums, trumpet, saxophone, violin and several other instruments. Others sang renditions of various popular songs including their own written and arranged tunes.
The audience loved it all as each artist performed their act. Although for many, this was their first public performance before a live audience, they demonstrated strong talent and bravery as they sang and played their instruments. All of the students were accompanied by at least one adult family member and they cheered their new found celebrities as they performed on stage.
The Executive Director, Greg Koss was elated. He said, "As I looked into the audience while the kids were performing, I could see how the parents' pride in their children was exploding as they watched their child perform. You could see the bond between parent and child strengthening. Two students, Mckayla and Chloe, two 6 year old twins, who sang the theme to the "Lion King" and also played the piano, enjoyed their experience so much that they just walked right up on stage an hour after they performed and asked if they could do it again! They did and they brought the house down!"
Koss added, “What a great evening for all to watch and witness the abundance of humanity happening between families and new friendships." He was right. Parents who previously did not know each other were cheering each other’s kids and chatting in between sets.
All in all, it was a great evening and a wonderful occasion. Everyone was pleased with the results. The Alez Haitian Cuisine now has a new act added to its menu. The restaurant is located at 1428 E. Fletcher Ave., Tampa at the corner of 15th Street in the Fletcher Regency Plaza. They serve traditional Haitian dishes inspired by island flavors.
Special thanks to the members of the Rotary, Alez Haitian Cuisine, the volunteer staff and all who contributed to making this program a success. Ann Berg of the Community Foundation has been instrumental in supporting the Institute with new ideas and opportunities. For that, the Executive Director and his volunteer staff have always expressed their gratitude. The parents of all the children must also be commended for their support.
We hope that this will not be the last time that the Koss Kids will perform at the Alez Haitian Cuisine. Apart from being a perfect venue, it also serves as an inspiration to all kids to explore their musical talents.