Ricky Hopkins began playing saxophone at the age of 11, while attending Palms Middle School in Los Angeles. What began as a hobby quickly became a serious career. Ricky attended the world renewed Alexander Hamilton High School Academy of music in 1999. Under the direction of faculty Dan Taguchi, Greg Robinson, and Vance Miller, Hopkins quickly learned all about various styles of music, including, jazz and classical music. In 2003, Hopkins graduated from Hamilton High school and was admitted (on scholarship) to the University of California, Irvine, where he studied jazz under the direction of world renowned pianist, Kei Akagi (Miles Davis's last keyboardist). At the age of 20, Hopkins was hurt in a hate crime that left him with serious injuries to his mouth, forcing him into a month and a half long hiatus. Told he wouldn't be able to play saxophone again, he began writing music in the hope that he would be able to return. After a month, Hopkins decided to give it one last shot and picked up his horn just days before a school concert. Hopkins' professional career began in 2007, performing at the world renewed Helms Jazz Bakery and The Mint in Los Angeles, California under his own group, The Ricky Hopkins Urban Band.
Hopkins, 37, has performed with a line up of world class musicians including: Barbara Morrison, Ernie Andrews, Justo Almario, Charles Owens, Billy Ray Cyrus, Rickey Woodard, Joey Sellers, and Jose Riso's Jazz on the Latin Side All Stars. He maintains a variety of musical experiences having recently been a member of the jam bands Sol Soiree (2019-23) & Groovesession (2018-19), and was previously a member of the progressive rock band Sixstep (2009-12). Hopkins also has recorded several solo records. He was also featured on the website Nerdist twice for the video "Stranger in My Town" and "Forceloose". The popular gif of a Demogordon playing saxophone was popularized after his saxophone solo. Ricky's influences include: John Coltrane, Wayne Shorter, Joshua Redman, Charlie Parker, Roy Hargrove, Freddie Hubbard, Stanley Turrentine, and Michael Brecker.
Downbeat Student Award, best tenor saxophone solo (2004). Outstanding Tenor Saxophone Solo, Monterey Jazz Festival National High School Jazz Competition. Was chosen as the best overall tenor saxophone soloist out of 12 highly regarded high school jazz programs. (2003)
Ricky Hopkins Reinvents Jazz on Alter Ego "Even though his inspiration and meaning for the songs are personal and cathartic for him, he wants listeners to find their unique meaning. Now that the creative process is over, he gives it to everyone else to enjoy. It’s hard not to start moving your body and immersing yourself in the music and atmosphere it creates. Whether you love the saxophone, jazz, blues, or not, you’ll find something to appreciate when listening to this record. It may just inspire you to start following this kind of jam. However, discovering talent like Ricky Hopkins is the best reward of all. The record is available on all the major streaming services, Apple Music, Spotify, Google Music, Pandora, and Amazon. You can purchase a copy on CD Baby."