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Ed Thigpen Jazz Drummer Legend Dies Aged 79

Ed Thigpen, Chicago-born drummer with the Oscar Peterson Trio during the famed jazz pianist’s popular early-’60s period, died on Wednesday, January 13, 2010 at the age of seventy-nine in Kingdom Hospital in Copenhagen after being ill for a long period of time.

Besides appearing on dozens of albums with Oscar Peterson, Thigpen recorded and performed with many other jazz greats, such as Ella Fitzgerald, Kenny Drew, Johnny Hodges, John Coltrane, and Dinah Washington, as well as pop artists including Johnny Mathis, Pat Boone, Peggy Lee, and K.D. Lang.

He also released a number of albums as a leader, his last being 2004’s #1. Thigpen was a renowned drumming educator, most recently teaching at the Rhythmic Music Conservatory in Copenhagen, Denmark, where he had made his home since 1972. He was the author of the popular tutorial book Rhythm Brought To Life and, as a well-known master of brush playing, the creator of the DVD The Essence Of Brushes. Thigpen was the inspiration for signature brush, stick, cymbal, and practice pad models from Regal Tip, Sabian, and Remo.

Perhaps best-known for his work with the Oscar Peterson Trio from 1959-1965, Thigpen also performed with the Billy Taylor Trio from 1956-1959.

In a statement, his family relates: "We are very sad to announce that Ed Thigpen has passed away today January 13th 2010... Thank you for your support in this difficult time. Sincerely The Thigpen family".

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Here is a video of the Oscar Peterson Trio including Ed Thigpen at Newport Jazz Fest


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