Wolf grew up in Edmondson Village, and while he watched cartoons and played with friends as any other child did, his father, Warren Wolf Sr., kept him to a strict practice regimen. A former Baltimore City public school teacher and a musician himself, the elder Wolf played weekend gigs with his band-also the Wolfpack-at the old Sportsman's Lounge and served as his son's first teacher on the vibes, marimba, drums, and piano. Starting at age 3 with vibes and drums, Wolf practiced for an hour and a half every day after school. Piano followed later, around age 6. In the summertime, Wolf's practice schedule doubled. And for seven years beginning at age 5, he took lessons in classical music at Peabody Preparatory under the tutelage of the late Leo LePage, a Baltimore Symphony Orchestra member.