Wayne Krantz began piano tuition at a young age but he "hated it. At age 14 I heard the Beatles and soon started playing guitar. I enjoyed not being told to practice." Growing up in Corvalis, Oregon, Krantz started playing in rock and country groups and later, after graduating from high school, he moved to Boston to attend the Berklee School Of Music. Shortly before his move he had discovered jazz in his father's record collection (The Poll Winners feat. guitarist Barney Kessel) and jazz became his main interest. "My first musically important job was with a band in Boston, the D Sharp Group - which also had guitarist Bill Frisell. Afterwards I went on the road with Carla Bley and that's where I really learned how to play chord changes. Leni Stern heard me playing at a club with Carla and started hiring me to play gigs around town and later I went to Europe with Leni for several tours, clubs and festivals."
"Guitar-wise I guess I have been influenced one way or another by all the guys I respect. In that long list have to be Terry Haggerty (from the Sons of Champlin), Mick Goodrick, Pat Metheny, Mike Stern, Bill Frisell, Kevin Eubanks and John Scofield. Way off in the distance, the mountains that inspire all of us are John McLaughlin and George Benson; those are the guys that have taken their own the farthest. The immediate goal for me is to fulfill the promise of making my own music."
Since moving to New York in 1985 Wayne Krantz has been in increasingly great demand for tours and recordings and in 1993 he finally started working with his own trio.