I was born in Brooklyn, New York and thankfully to a very talented mother and father. My musical and woodworking interests were cultivated at an early age by my father who was an engineer and master woodworker, as well as a schooled musician. He taught me how to read blueprints, analyze data, guided my hand with tools, and kindled my interest in music and guitar. Under the guidance of my father and uncles, I got an Italian American start in music, being exposed to solfeggio and lots of classical and jazz playing. I went on to study guitar with renowned teachers and continue to play; however, my formal education was in science.
My mother is an accomplished artist and works in stone as well as with a brush. She taught me many skills and I learned great things from her, ranging from color mixing, to painting and sculpting techniques. When I'm carving a top or back I always think, thank God this is wood rather than marble.

After graduating from college I did Oceanographic research with a major university and taught the oceanographic sciences for twenty years. In 1991 I decided to transform my love for music and building from an avocation into a vocation. Under the guidance of master luthier Robert Benedetto I learned how to build archtop guitars.

As a player I have a definite sense for how a guitar should feel, play, and sound. Many guitarists and other musicians have noted this. Some of them are George Benson, Jimmy Buffett, Joe Cinderella, Rodney Jones, Ray Matuza, Tony Mottola and Jimmy Vivino. My guitars can be regularly seen on the Conan 0' Brien and Rosie 0' Donnell shows and can be heard on several recordings. They have been used in performances with Tony Bennett, Ruth Brown, Regina Carter, Lena Horne and many others, and have been played on stages ranging from The Blue Note to Carnegie Hall.

Gary Mortoro