Meet José Iñiguez, a gifted musician and award-winning Latin music artist. Born as the seventh of 11 children to a Mexican immigrant foreman at an orchard in the small town of Mattawa, Washington, Jose's childhood was marked by hard times. Despite this, traditional Mexican music was something his large family could all enjoy together. At the age of 12, José began singing at family events, and he later joined middle and high school choirs. Watching an opera performance on PBS sparked his interest in classical music, and during his senior year of high school, he entered his first state vocal contest, discovering his inner drive to perform.
Despite his father's insistence on a practical career, José chose to study music in college, studying under Vocal Professor Sydney Knesselroad Ph.D. Though he faced challenges due to the lack of music foundation afforded by private lessons, José persevered and honed his skills under Jerry Halsey, a retired Munich Opera singer, becoming one of the only Tenors in the nation to combine Opera & Mariachi bolero music in his concerts.
José's talent has been recognized through numerous awards and nominations, including the Governor’s Individual Heritage Award in 2015, the Univision Latin Music Artist Award in 2016, and the Central Washington University Leader-under-40 Award in 2017. In 2018, he received the Seattle Metropolitan Latino Chamber of Commerce Leader Award, and in 2019, he was recognized with the Mid-Columbia Libraries & Tri-Cities Latino Community Network's Latino Leader Award for his work in business and his support of education. In 2020, Iñiguez was recognized by STSGE for his work in bringing Concierto Novideño to Catedral Basílica Menor de Colima, Mx. In 2022, Iñiguez was recognized by El Benemérito Conservatorio de Música del Estado de Puebla for bringing his Encanto program to Puebla, Mexico, in support of the first live public concert since COVID-19. In 2024, he was selected by Seattle Magazine as the 25 most influential person in the Puget Sound.
José's passion for education and his support of students' dreams of attending higher education has led him to establish three Iñiguez Family Scholarship Endowments at Columbia Basin College, Central Washington University, and Eastern Washington University. Through his music program, ENCANTO, which has taken place in major theaters in Washington state and Mexico, as well as at the renowned Benaroya Hall in Seattle, José takes the audience on a cultural journey that pairs the ethereal beauty of opera aria and classical piano with the charm of mariachi bolero. His vocal range and power have been described as spine-tingling and mesmerizing. Jose currently is the executive Director of Encanto Arts as well as a Teaching Artist for the Seattle Opera.
Andrew is the composer and arranger for Encanto Arts. Andrew received his Master’s in Viola Performance from Seattle Pacific University; while there, he took many courses on education and learned how to run a music studio. He’s also interned and coached at Marrowstone-In-The-City, which is Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra’s main orchestra camp over the summer, for kids below the age of 14, and has just started music directing at Village Theatre Kidstage in Issaquah. He is currently music directing an original musical at Rose Hill Middle School.
Rosa M. Melendez was the Regional Director (Region 10 - Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington) for the U.S. Department of Justice - Community Relations Service (CRS) from 2000 to 2014. The Community Relations Service is the Department's "peacemaker" for community conflicts and tensions arising from differences of race, color, and national origin. Created by the Civil Rights Act of 1964, CRS is the only Federal agency dedicated to assist State and local units of government, private and public organizations, and community groups with preventing and resolving racial and ethnic tensions, incidents, and civil disorders, and in restoring racial stability and harmony.
With passage of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, CRS also works with communities to employ strategies to prevent and respond to alleged violent hate crimes committed on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion or disability.
Ms. Melendez was in the Law Enforcement field for over twenty-five (25) years. She started with Salt Lake City Police as a Police Cadet and retired from law enforcement as the U.S. Marshal for the Western District of Washington. She spent 17 years with Seattle Police Department, and during her tenure with Seattle, she worked in the Patrol Division, Personnel Division, Internal Investigations Unit and the Community Service Section. She became the first woman of color on the Seattle Police Department to be promoted to the rank of Sergeant. She left Seattle Police Department as a Lieutenant. In 1993, Ms. Melendez was nominated by Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) to the position of U.S. Marshal. She was confirmed by the U.S. Senate and appointed U.S. Marshal by President Clinton in 1994. She became the first woman of color to become a U.S. Marshal. She served as the U.S.Marshal from 1994 to 2000. The duties of the U.S. Marshals Service include protecting the federal judiciary, apprehending federal fugitives, managing and selling seized assets acquired by criminals through illegal activities, housing and transporting federal prisoners and operating the Witness Security Program.
Ms. Melendez has received numerous awards for her commitment to her profession and her community service. She feels her mission in life is to be the voice for those who are not heard.
Guadalupe Cavazos is an attorney who owns and operates a small but vital law office in Seattle focusing mainly on Family Law and Immigration including providing Mediation and Workplace Investigations services in both English and Spanish. To maintain life balance and continue her connection to the arts, she is a self-taught jewelry artist, silver smith, wool-felting artist and paints on silk. She continues to be committed to supporting community building and self-expression via the arts.
She was born in Tamaulipas, Mexico, a community bordering South Texas and her family immigrated to the United States and settled in the Rio Grande Valley. For twenty five years, Guadalupe grew up as a migrant farmworker mainly in the Eastern Washington area. Despite the barriers or because of them, she attended Washington State University (Go Cougs!) where she graduated with a degree in Political and Social Sciences. Upon moving to Seattle, she worked in King County Superior Court Administration and the Seattle City Attorney’s Office helping battered women and children obtain Domestic Violence Protection Orders and providing court advocacy. Fueled by her commitment to social justice, Guadalupe attended law school at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas where volunteered most of her time at the Legal and Social Justice Clinic helping battered women gain immigration status under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). In 1997, she received her Juris Doctor and worked as a City Manager in Donna, Texas, a small but significant border community along the Rio Grande Valley. During her time as City Manager, she worked closely with local County Commissioners, State of Texas elected officials and other strategic partners to develop national and international border initiatives focusing on, among other things, promoting the local arts, both emerging and traditional venues.
In 2005, Guadalupe returned to the Northwest where she worked as a Tribal Spokesperson, an Assistant to the Director of HR in the City of Tacoma and focused on employee and labor relations. Continuing her pursuit in social justice, Guadalupe moved to Seattle and worked with the Access to Justice Board for the Washington State Bar Association. In 2008, Guadalupe was recruited to work for the U.S Census Bureau in the 2010 Decennial Census as a Field Operations Manager supervising over 1200 field employees and was later promoted to manage the South King County Census Office.
From 2015 to 2019, Guadalupe served on the Casa Latina Board and spent her last year as President of the Board and continues to support local organizations empowering Latinx. She continues to be an effective advocate for equity and social justice in the legal system, and a passionate promoter of inclusiveness in the arts.
Maria Sotelo enjoys living in the Pacific Northwest where the landscape and weather bring joy to the eyes and where the people are kind and welcoming. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Public
Accounting from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) in NL, Mexico. After she graduated, she then attended EGADE Business School and received a Master of Business Administration. Maria has had the opportunity of working in the advertising industry as an independent Media Consultant in Spanish. She is also a Realtor® at Berkshire Hathaway Home Services where she has had the pleasure of assisting clients through a smooth process with successful transactions. She’s been a volunteer at Highline Medical Center Foundation at its annual Gala night. She is also a volunteer at Washington Talking Book and Braille Library where she records audio books in Spanish for Washington residents unable to read standard print. “Listening and reading testimonies from patrons about how audio books have changed their lives, motivates me to do it better”. She loves singing at her church choir. Maria joined the Board of Directors of Encanto Arts on June 2019 as Co-Chair of Communications. “This is a great way of helping an amazing organization with a powerful mission!
Paco Diaz (Francisco "Paco" Díaz) was born in Mexico City, but he has lived for several years in Seattle, WA. Paco is passionate about communications and being able to interact with the community. He considers himself a social communicator who puts his energy into projects that help us to discuss relevant issues that motivate us to participate more in order to build a stronger community. Paco Díaz has a University degree in Public Accounting from the National Polytechnic Institute, but his passion has led him to get prepared and develop in the field of communications. He has experience in radio, television, writing articles for written press, in addition to being an EMCEE at public events. He currently works as a Financial and Administrative Coordinator at UNAM Seattle, teaches Spanish classes at Casa Latina for over 11 years now, works in the Community Relations Department at Sea Mar Community Health Center and in his work as a communicator he focuses on social media where he produces and hosts Ah! Pa ’COmentarios through Plataforma Latina TV, a project where he is co-owner and founder. Follow him on social media as Paco Diaz en la Red. Paco records audio books in Spanish for Washington Talking Book and Braille Library. His first audio book was the first one to be published in Spanish in the Library!
A Senior software engineer and audio engineer, Mikiah is a tech-savvy and creative individual with a passion for technology, music and travel. With over 8 years of engineering experience in both audio and software, Mikiah brings unique perspective and innovative solutions to the board. In his free time, Mikiah loves to explore new destinations and cultures, always seeking new adventures and experiences. He is a well-rounded individual who strives to continuously learn and grow in both his personal and professional life.
The first beginnings of the Musicians’ Association date back to the fall of 1889. At that time there was a national organization known as the Musicians Mutual Protective Union #30. There was no branch in Seattle, the nearest one being in San Francisco. The first Board meeting of Charter Members was held on Nov 2nd, 1890 and the new branch was officially admitted to the MMPU on Dec. 17, 1890.
It was a rule of the M.M.P.U. that a new branch could not organize without permission from the nearest union so it was necessary for the Seattle “boys” to communicate with San Francisco to make the necessary arrangements. Charles E. Bray, Frank Hopkins and T.H. “Dad” Wagner formed a committee and telegraphed to the San Francisco local for permission to form a union. The S. F. union didn’t have any objections because Seattle was so far away and permission was granted. The official number given to the seattle M.M.P.U when they were organized was 76. The local has kept this number ever since.
The Board of Directors created a Constitution, By-Laws, Directory and Price List of 1892. The years 1892 & 1893 were a period of extreme hard times and the Price List (wage scale) had to be suspended while musicians played for anything they could get. There was talk of dissolving the union and in order to keep the union intact, it was decided to suspend the price list.
The Musicians’ Union then became a union in name only and it became common practice for members to go out and play for nothing and then pass the hat. This hat passing was the start of the ten-cent dances.
The American Federation of Musicians Local 76 was originally chartered on March 1, 1898. On January 14, 1958, African American members of the segregated AFM Local 493 were amalgamated with those of Local 76, forming one integrated Local. For further information on Local 493 and it’s predecessor Local 458 we recommend an article at HistoryLink.org by Peter Blecha or “Sweethearts of Jazz” written for “Columbia” magazine by David Keller in 2009. KCTS 9 YouTube video on Local 493. In December 1994 our title was officially changed to “Local 76-493”, celebrating our rich history among all of our members.
Seattle MusiciansMembers of the Musicians’ Association of Seattle, Local 76-493. T
Get 10% off your first purchase when you sign up for our newsletter!