2006 Inductee - Mike Torres

2006 Inductee - Mike Torres

The Arts

Mike was born in Urequio, Michoacan on July 7, 1935. He has been a resident of San Joaquin County for more than 60 years. As a youth, Mike worked in the fields and packing sheds throughout the valley. From 1968-1970, Mike served in the U.S. Armey. After his discharge he met his love, Margaret Grijalva and they married in November of 1961. They have been married for nearly 45 years, reside in Lathrop, California, and are parents to three daughters and two sons. They have nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

In the early years of his marriage, Mike was a truck driver but after a debilitating back injury, he decided to go back to school. Margaret worked full time so Mike could go back to school. After receiving his A.A. Degree from Delta College in 1973, he went on to C.S.U. Sacramento, obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Spanish in 1977, where he went on to complete a Master’s Degree in Spanish with a Minor in Music in 1985.

His jobs have included working for E.D.D. in Stockton, teaching at the California Youth Authority, the Concilio and teaching music and Spanish at San Joaquin Delta College. Mike’s first passion lies in teaching. At Delta College, he has taught Spanish and guitar to kids and adults, perpetuating the folklore and history of his Mexican Culture.

However, he is perhaps most well known for being the leader of his well-known band, The Mike Torres Band. His band is known and respected throughout California, the Southwest, and Midwestern states. The band was formed in the late 1960’s and Mike was single handedly responsible for creating a musical dynasty and corporation that is now three generations strong. Band members include his sons, his daughter, and three grandchildren. Mike is the inaugural winner of the 2005 Central Valley Music Legend Award for his 35 plus years of entertainment and community service in the Central Valley. The band’s donation of talent for all kinds of community and civic events equates to hundreds of thousands of dollars. He is known for his willingness to lend a hand by performing for charitable events, church bazaars and festivals. Just a few of these causes are Easter Seals, United Way and American Cancer Telethons, Stockton and Manteca Music in the Parks series, National Latino Peace Officers Association, Hurricane Rita and Katrina Relief Efforts, San Joaquin General Hospital, Kaiser Permanente, and LULAC functions.

Moreover, in his spare time Mike has donated time providing immigration and naturalization counseling and has assisted numerous people in obtaining their U.S. Citizenship, preparing essential paperwork, making phone calls, and trips to Sacramento and San Francisco to help the process.