Ed Thigpen 1930 - 2010


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The esteemed drummer Ed Thigpen, known for his elegant bearing and tasteful timekeeping in support of jazz luminaries such as Oscar Peterson and Ella Fitzgerald, died Wednesday in Copenhagen, Denmark at age 79.

Born in Chicago and raised in Los Angeles, Thigpen also had a couple of connections to St. Louis. Between college and his move to New York, he lived here for about a year circa 1950 with his father, the drummer Ben Thigpen; and his brother Bensid Thigpen, also a drummer, still lives and performs here in St. Louis.

Ed Thigpen had lived in Denmark for 37 years, but he continued to perform, teach and tour all over the world, with more than 900 recordings to his credit. In addition to his brother, he is survived by a sister, son, daughter and granddaughter.

You can read more about Ed Thigpen here and here. He also was the subject of a 2009 documentary film, Ed Thigpen: Master of Time, Rhythm and Taste, and you can see a short excerpt from the film in the video window below.

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This story appears courtesy of St. Louis Jazz Notes by Dean Minderman.
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