All About Jazz

Home » Musicians » Ricky Hopkins

Ricky Hopkins

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.

Read more


Richard swings with the Ricky Hopkins Quintet at The Jazz Bakery


Opening with a bebop tune based on the changes of What Is This Thing Called Love, this group of young players sounded like a typical New York jazz group of any of the past 60 years. Would they prove to be more contemporary?

As it turns out, they are quite versatile, serving up funk��” like Herbie Hancock’s Watermelon Man and Joe Henderson’s Inner Urge as well as ballads. One of which��”Inner Soul by Hopkins��”proved to be soulful indeed. In fact, the entire evening was well-programmed, designed to vary tempo and mood ��”and style.

Besides a very capable rhythm section, both Hopkins and Sumner work well together, each of whom bring a wholly different approach to soloing but blend well during the arranged sections

Read more

Primary Instrument



Los Angeles

Willing to teach

Advanced only



Alter Ego

RDH Music



Unknown label


Untold Stories

Unknown label


The Quarter Life

Unknown label


Shop Amazon

All About Jazz needs your support

All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary step that will help musicians and venues now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the sticky footer ad). Thank you!

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.