About

Duncan Hopkins

Biography


Double bassist, composer and arranger Duncan Hopkins has been working at the highest levels of jazz for almost thirty years. In that time he has worked with such luminaries as Norma Winstone, Rob McConnell, Scott Hamilton, Houston Person, Peter Appleyard, Ed Bickert, Mark Murphy, Bobo Stenson, Dianna Krall, Sheila Jordan, Kenny Wheeler, Bobby Watson, Sam Rivers, Harry Allen and Edward Simon to name but a few. Duncan was  a member of Rob McConnell and the Boss Brass and the highly distinguished Canadian Jazz Quartet for ten years before moving to Europe.

The new recording Who Are You? released in the summer of 2023 on TPR records has received national and international acclaim and airplay.

An extraordinary celebration and tribute of Kenny Wheeler's legacy, Who Are You? The Music of Kenny Wheeler is a treasure for jazz connoisseurs and highly recommended for personal and public library music collections.

James A Cox Midwest Book Reviews May 2023

"Who Are You? sits with the very best of them. The music is excellent, as is the guitar work of Reg Schwager and Ted Quinlan, but it is the combination of the two guitars and bass that really make this release stand out. The way that the two guitarists play off and around each other is captivating but it is the depth of sound that Duncan Hopkins’ melodic bass brings to a number that pulls everything together."


Simply Jazz Talk U.K. June 1st, 2023

      


His project Elysian joins long time collaborator (and 2017 British Pianist of the Year) Nikki Iles BEM and the incredibly talented vocalist Thierry Peala from Paris. Their CD is called Voyageur and has music and lyrics by Duncan Hopkins. This band toured Europe in 2018 and 2021

Together they have a unique chemistry which simulates eventide and candlelight in one moment and sea breeze on your cheeks in the next.

All About Jazz

Elysian expresses kindness, delicacy and expressive softness. Qualities that are not so widespread today. With elegance and refinement. Elysian transports us in a flight between the notes of a dreaming heart and more capable of experiencing the aromas and colours of a kind soul.

Bruno Pollacci - Animajazz, Italy

Duncan has toured extensively throughout Canada, Great Britain, Europe, Brazil and the United States. He can be heard on over fifty albums, numerous CBC, BBC and NPR recordings. He is a long standing member of the jazz education group the Global Music Foundation and continues to be Visiting Professor at the Royal Academy of Music in London, England. Duncan  lives in Toronto, Canada. 




What's Been Said

In my opinion, the album is a masterpiece that showcases the immense talent of the musicians involved.  

Roman Sokal Dec 13th


Reg Schwager and Ted Quinlan dance and weave around each other’s lines with thoughtful

expression that finds them moving in harmony at times, sharing contrapuntal moments and

trading between chords and melodies. It is a guitar masterclass from start to finish.

David Reed The Intelligencer May 16th, 2023


"Foxy Trot" is classic Wheeler — a sly exploration of its quasi-titular dance's 4/4 rhythm, with

off-kilter metric accents that keep you on your toes. Hopkins takes the first solo, spritely but

understated with a plush tone. Schwager and Quinlan follow in turn, each gracing the tune

with his own unique lyricism while Lambert responds to every nuance with mesmerizing

detail. Not only a loving tribute, but also a thoroughly exciting session from some of

Canada's jazz greats.


Robert Rowat CBC May 17th 2023


Who Are You? The Music of Kenny Wheeler is a musical glowing tribute to the late great

Canadian composer and trumpeter...


Kerry Doole Music News Digest May 18th, 2023


I confess that I have never been a big fan of jazz guitar. I’ve listened to many recordings, but

none have made it into my regular rotation. But this two-guitar band and this album changed

my mind.


Ed Sapiega Jazz Views May 25th, 2023


...what this worthy Kenny Wheeler themed album from the quartet of bassist Duncan

Hopkins most rewardingly achieves is to send you immediately again to a range of Wheeler

classics.


Stephen Graham Marlbank May 28th 2023


An extraordinary celebration and tribute of Kenny Wheeler's legacy, Who Are You? The

Music of Kenny Wheeler is a treasure for jazz connoisseurs and highly recommended for

personal and public library music collections.


James A Cox Midwest Book Reviews May 2023


Who Are You? sits with the very best of them. The music is excellent, as is the guitar work of

Reg Schwager and Ted Quinlan, but it is the combination of the two guitars and bass that

really make this release stand out. The way that the two guitarists play off and around each

other is captivating but it is the depth of sound that Duncan Hopkins’ melodic bass brings to

a number that pulls everything together.


Simply Jazz Talk June 1st, 2023


Ted Quinlan and Reg Schwager, two of Canada's greatest jazz guitarists, weave lines and

chords together over the rock-solid rhythm section of Hopkins and drummer Michel Lambert.

A fresh and very enjoyable tribute to one of the most important composers in the history of

jazz. Widely recommended.


Guillermo Bazzola TomaJazz Madrid, Spain May 23rd, 2023


. Joyous music. I mentioned that there have been several albums in tribute to Wheeler and

this stands with the best of them. There is no grandstanding here, the musicians are

comfortable in each other’s company, and this is evident from what they produce. The sound

quality is excellent, and all instrumentalists are clearly and crisply recorded. The artwork

produced by Neil Mcvey is also worthy of note.


Alan Musson UKVibe June 5th, 2023


While the music maintains a swinging groove, the overall mood here is quite gentle, always

accessible and enjoyable. Wheeler’s compositions were often contemplative, and these

tracks are faithful to the writing. The two-guitar choice works well; they swirl around each

other with complete empathy and a unified interpretation.


Keith Black Winnipeg Free Press May 26th, 2023