Benito Cortez (AKA Neato Benito)
"Neato" Benito Cortez started violin at 8 years old. Largely self-taught as a youngster, he pursued more formal violin and chamber music training with Dale King while attending Santa Clara University, from which he graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in electrical engineering.
Benito's creative life has previously been a balance between engineering and music. While he was engineering audio test equipment, designing sound for stage theatre, and devising software and prototype electronics for high tech children's toys, Benito was also a recording session sideman, orchestra concertmaster, chamber musician, and jazz musician. He designed the sound for 1996 holiday hit toy "Tickle Me Elmo." These days, Benito is a full-time musician.
Benito now resides, teaches violin, and performs in San Francisco and plays gypsy swing, jazz, and salsa with several San Francisco Bay Area ensembles, including Panique!, the Tipsy Gypsy Trio, and Ori