Edmund Leonard Thigpen (December 28, 1930 – January 13, 2010) was an American jazz drummer, best known for his work with the Oscar Peterson trio from 1959 to 1965. Thigpen also performed with the Billy Taylor trio from 1956 to 1959.
Born in Chicago, Illinois, Thigpen was raised in Los Angeles and attended Thomas Jefferson High School, where Art Farmer, Dexter Gordon and Chico Hamilton also attended. After majoring in sociology at Los Angeles City College, Thigpen returned to East St. Louis for one year to pursue music while living with his father who had been playing with Andy Kirk‘s Clouds of Joy. His father, Ben Thigpen, was a drummer who played with Andy Kirk for sixteen years during the 1930s and 1940s.
Thigpen first worked professionally in New York City with the Cootie Williams orchestra from 1951 to 1952 at the Savoy Ballroom. During this time he played with musicians such as Dinah Washington, Gil Mellé, Oscar Pettiford, Eddie Vinson, Paul Quinichette, Ernie Wilkins, Charlie Rouse, Lennie Tristano, Jutta Hipp, Johnny Hodges, Dorothy Ashby, Bud Powell, and Billy Taylor.