Born in Seoul, South Korea before immigrating to Toronto, Canada as a child, Tom Chang was inspired to play guitar after hearing Jeff Beck, Jimi Hendrix and Jimmy Page. This initial flush of rock guitar attraction was followed by equally heavy concentration in the blues, then finally jazz, in the shape of guitarists Jim Hall and Wes Montgomery.
In the mid-1980s, Chang enrolled at Los Angeles’ Guitar Institute of Technology where he majored in jazz performance. He studied privately with Scott Henderson, Joe Diorio, and the late Ted Greene. Chang’s rapid advancement led to professional work with everyone from comedian (then cabaret performer) Sandra Bernhard to crooner Luther Vandross