Mississippi boy plays guitar alongside Grammy winner

Mississippi boy plays guitar alongside Grammy winner

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Zach Koch, 12, like many boys his age, has posters all over his wall of several artists that he calls his favorites.

"I have a lot of rock stars influenced on me like Jimmy Hendricks, Santana, and Stevie Ray Vaughan," Koch said.

The Dixie resident attended a concert by one of those artists; walking in with only slim hopes of even getting his guitar signed, he ended up with a chance of a lifetime. He was brought on stage from the audience to play alongside one of his favorite musicians, Carlos Santana.

"About the middle of the show, they had a little break and I walked up to the stage to the stairs and I waved the guitar and a sharpie," Koch said. "The pianist saw me, he went and told Santana. Santana walked over and said, 'Can you play' and I said, yeah. He signed it, and he said, 'Come on then,' so I stepped over the railing, they plugged me in, and I played."

The two played onstage together for several minutes at the concert.

Even his parents were amazed.

"Oh it was amazing, we were happy just to go to the concert, you know," Linda Koch, Zach's mother said. "Zach told me that he really wanted to get the signature, and he said, 'you know mom, I prayed to be able to get Santana's signature', and I said yeah, God answered you in a big way didn't he?"

One may think Zach just got lucky, but note this; the concert took place Friday the 13th, and he was in seat 13. Zach said his chance with a star goes far beyond luck.

"It was an honor," Koch said. "I had a lot of adrenaline in me. It was amazing."

Zach has only been officially taking guitar lessons for six months. His parents hope this special occurrence is just the beginning of wonderful things that happen to their son.

"Whatever makes him happy; that was what we enjoyed so much was being able to see our child's dream fulfilled at such a young age," Linda said. "[To] have the chance to play on stage, that's what he always wanted to do; to let his music out and to be able to see your child that happy is just overwhelming as a parent. Whatever makes him happy is what we want, is what any parent wants for any of their children is just to be happy."

Zach, who plans to produce music of his own in the future, walked away with memories that will last a lifetime.

"I learned something from Santana," Zach said. "I learned to be humble and to play from your heart. Not to play the notes exactly as they are."