José Iñiguez, the seventh of 11 children, grew up in the small town of Mattawa, Washington. His father, a Mexican immigrant, was the foreman at an orchard. In spite of the hard times the large family went through, traditional Mexican music was something they could all enjoy.
Through the encouragement and support of his family, Iñiguez began singing at family events at the age of 12. During his teen years, he joined middle and high-school choirs. He became interested in classical music after watching an opera performance at PBS (Public Broadcasting System). During his senior year in high school, he entered his first state vocal contest and discovered his inner drive to perform.
Jose’s father’s goal was to have educated, successful children and he insisted that they go to college. Not only did all 11 children obtained Bachelor’s degrees, but seven earned a Master’s degrees and one is now a resident Doctor by being the first to go to the Ivy League University of Dartmouth in New Hampshire.
Even though his father insisted on a practical career, José chose to study music in college. Music proved to be difficult because he did not have the music foundation afforded by private lessons.
He changed majors and obtained a degree in business. But during his four and half years at Central Washington University he studied under Vocal Professor Sydney Knesselroad Phd. Jose currently studies under Jerry Halsey from in good Voice in Seattle, WA who is retired from the Munich Opera. Jose is one of only a handful of Tenor’s in the nation to combine Opera & Mariachi bolero music in his concerts. Many have described Jose vocal range and power as spine tingling and something mesmerizing.
Iñiguez was nominated for the Governor’s Individual Heritage award for 2015 and is an award-winning 2016 Latin Music artist by Univision for his music program ENCANTO which takes place at the Benaroya Hall, the mecca for classical music in the city of Seattle. Iñiguez and the artists that perform with him at the ENCANTO concert, take the audience on a cultural journey that pairs the ethereal beauty of opera aria and classical piano with the charm of mariachi bolero. In 2017 Jose was awarded the distinguished Central Washington University Leader-under-40 Award. In 2018 José was awarded an honorary Seattle Metropolitan Latino Chamber of Commerce Leader Award and in 2019 was awarded Mid-Columbia Libraries & Tri-cities Latino Community Network Latino leader award for his work in business and his support of Education, as many of his concert proceeds have went to supporting students dreams of attending a higher education.
Through his work in in the community he established three Iniguez Family Scholarship Endowments to honor the memory of his parents, Santiago Iniguez & Guadalupe Rodriguez, at Columbia Basin College, Central Washington University, and Eastern Washington University. You can see his story on PBS as it is currently being shown through out the country.