About the Greater Des Moines Community Jazz Center

Community Jazz Center


The 2014 Hall of Fame & Jazz Recognition Awards

Sunday, October 19 at Adventureland Inn


Mark your calendars for the 14th annual Celebration of Des Moines Jazz by honoring musicians, educators and promoters who have made significant contributions to jazz in Central Iowa.



Gabriel Espinosa (bassist, composer, educator)

Steve Charlson (bassist)

Jayson Alcorn (guitarist)



Paul Bridson (trombonist, educator)

Fred Gazzo (vocalist and bandleader)



Brooke Peters (bassist)



Hannah Marks (bassist)


There will be live music featuring The Hall of Fame Quartet (Scott Smith, Julius Brooks, Jim Eklof), Hannah Marks and Friends, The CJC Youth Combo, The Ashanti group (Tim Crumley, Bryan Schumacker, Dave Kobberdahl) featuring Gabriel Espinosa and many more. 

Tickets are $20 advance and $25 on the day of the event.   A special meal is available for a nominal fee.  See "Announcements" below for meal details.   Phone Phyllis Leaverton at 515-276-0777 for additional information.

There will be a silent auction at the event to benefit the non-profit CJC.




The CJC was formed by Willie Thomas, a nationally known trumpet player, in March of 1988. Its mission was to provide young musicians an opportunity to interact and share their gifted talents with area students. Since the departure of Mr. Thomas, the CJC has thrived under the leadership of Phyllis Leaverton.

The main objective of the CJC is to provide young musicians an opportunity to develop their talents and enjoy music in a non-competitive environment. The structured monthly jam sessions are beneficial in this way - to both student musicians and professional musicians alike.

Over the years, CJC has maintained a regular monthly jam session on the first Sunday of every month at Java Joe's Coffeehouse in downtown Des Moines (214 4th Street). The CJC Big Band also performs there on the third Sunday of every month.

- CJC Big Band -

The CJC sponsors an annual Junior High Jazz Festival and also the CJC Honor Bands which provide valuable experience for young musicians with an interest in Jazz.

Every October since 2001, the CJC sponsors the CJC Jazz Hall Of Fame and Special Recognition Awards (click "Hall of Fame above). This is an impressive evening that pays tribute to important long-time musicians, educators and promoters in the Des Moines area.

The CJC intends to be the source for JAZZ infomation in Des Moines. More and more young people in Des Moines are discovering this important American ART form and the CJC is here to help promote local JAZZ in Des Moines! Please feel free to contact us with questions or suggestions.

You can become a supporter of the Community Jazz Center!

Click to make a Tax Deductible donations to CJC.

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