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).
In late 2005, 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. He continues playing to this day.
Currently, Hopkins is performing with Grammy nominated trumpeter Dr. Bobby Rodriguez, as a guest artist with Jose Riso Jazz on the Latin Side All Stars, as well as performing with his own band, The Urban Band. Hopkins is also the saxophonist for the rock band, Sixstep and is featured on two of their albums, Par 5 and A Dangerous World. Lastly, Hopkins is also the saxophonist for the folk band, Everything That Exists, which also features Garrett Hay and heralded guitarist Christian Wunderlick.