Duncan Hopkins is an English-born jazz composer and musician, playing double bass and electric bass. Hopkins was born in Coventry, West Midlands, his parents both musicians (his father a trombone player and his mother a pianist), he started his musical education at Pattison’s College in Coventry where his mother taught music. The family then moved to St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada in 1971 where he remained until he finished formal studies at Lakeport Secondary School and Brock University (1987–1989).
After acquiring his bachelor’s in Business Economics he moved to Montreal to study with bassist Michel Donato, first within the confines of McGill University and then later privately, he then went to the Banff School of Fine Arts (1990) to study with Rufus Reid, Kenny Wheeler, Steve Coleman. This is where he first met Martin Speake who was later to become an important musician friend and peer.
He returned briefly to St. Catharines in 1992 and won an Ontario Arts Council Award to live and study in New York with Dave Holland. During that year, however, his parents succumbed to cancer and he returned to Canada and moved to Toronto. Over the years Hopkins has performed with a host of musicians such as Diana Krall, Peter Appleyard, Warren Vache, Rob McConnell, Robert Farnon, John Hicks, Mark Murphy, Lester Bowie, Sam Rivers, Kenny Wheeler, Don Thompson, Moe Koffman, Norman Amadio, Scott Hamilton, Edward Simon and others.
More recently he has toured Britain and continental Europe with the Bobby Watson All Stars featuring Bobby Watson on alto sax, Bruce Barth on piano, Stephen Keogh on drums and Duncan on double bass.