Tod Carver was exposed to jazz at an early age by his father, Ron Carver, a radio announcer who hosted the only jazz radio show in Youngstown, Ohio in the 60s. By age 11, Tod was listening to John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Charles Mingus, Cal Tjader and other jazz greats. He soon became interested in the progressive rock sounds of Jimi Hendrix, The Byrds, Cream, Soft Machine and others. By 16, Tod was playing lead guitar in his first band, playing original rock-oriented arrangements of tunes like "My Favorite Things" and Miles Davis' "Milestones," along with contemporary rock and blues.

Tod then studied guitar in Las Vegas, Nevada with Jim Wilkinson, a Newark, New Jersey guitarist who had studied with the renowned teacher Dennis Sandole. Armed with new technique and a 1940 Epiphone Emperor, Tod moved to the then-thriving jazz scene of Portland, Oregon. He was soon working with the best players there, among them keyboardists Jeff Lorber and Tom Grant, and saxophonists Jim Pepper and Sonny King. In 1979 Tod got a call from the legendary drummer Tony Williams, inviting him to join the new Tony Williams Band. Ditching the Epiphone for a Les Paul, Tod toured the U.S. and Europe with one of the greatest innovators in contemporary music.

By the end of the 80s, Tod was leading his own group featuring his original compositions, as well as doing production and composing work for industrial and educational films. The desire to find new playing opportunities led Tod and his wife, Netta, to make the radical move to Tokyo in 1992. Since then, Tod has worked with many of the top artists in Japan, including R&B vocalist Masaki Ueda and pop-jazz saxophonist Malta, as well as playing a wide assortment of gigs ranging from straight-ahead jazz to Japanese pop to Brazilian samba to French "chanson."