A native of the state of Sonora in Mexico, Francisco Torres immigrated to the United States in 1984. He began his musical studies at the age of 15, playing the saxophone in high school for a year, then switching to euphonium, and curiosity led him to the trombone. In 1998, while still at Cal State Long Beach, Poncho Sanchez saw Francisco at a small jazz club and asked if he would join his band. As a member of the popular Poncho Sanchez Latin Jazz Band for 10 years, he has been an integral part of the band’s sound, not only as soloist, but also as director and arranger. With Poncho, he has won a Grammy, been nominated for two Latin Grammys, and won three Billboard awards.
Recording and performance credits in the international scene include Cachao, Celia Cruz, Los Lobos, Roberto Roena, Andy Montañez, Pete and Sheila Escovedo, Juan Gabriel, Emmanuel, Ricky Martin, Alex Acuña, Justo Almario and the great Aretha Franklin. His television credits include Saturday Night Live, the Latin Grammys, the ALMA Awards, and The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.
Francisco is a jazz trombonist at heart and, in addition to The Big Phat Band, Francisco is also plays regularly with Bill Holman’s Big Band filling in for the great Andy Martin. He has also recorded or performed with Terence Blanchard, Joey DeFrancesco, Bill Cunliffe, Dianne Reeves, Pattie Austin, Natalie Cole, James Moody, and Roy Hargrove.
Wanting to contribute his ideas to the music world, he began arranging and composing for several of the major Latin jazz groups in the Los Angeles area. That led to arranging albums for the likes of Ry Cooder, Ersi Arvizu, and Angelique Kidjo, which included a Grammy nomination. He has also produced records for Jazz on the Latin Side All Stars, Francisco Aguabella and was assistant producer on Poncho Sanchez’s latest, “Raise Your Hand”.