About the Des Moines Community Jazz Center Hall of Fame

Des Moines may not be the JAZZ "capital of the world", but that hasn't stopped the Greater Des Moines Community Jazz Center (CJC) from recognizing the musical contribuitions of the city's finest and most influential musicians.

Started in 2001, the Des Moines Jazz Hall of Fame was established to hoor those musicians who have been proud to call Des Moines (or Central Iowa) home. Musicians selected for the Des moines Jazz Hall of Fame have not only influenced future generations of musicians, but have provided the city's jazz fans with years of musical adventure and enjoyment.

Each October since 2001, Des Moines' jazz fans have gathered at Adventureland Inn in Altoona (just east of Des Moines) to celebrate the contributions of many talented and dedicated individuals.  In addition, the CJC presents Special Recognition awards to musicians, jazz educators, promoters or others that have contributed to the JAZZ tradition in Central Iowa.   Another Award known as "The Bobby Dawson Award" is also presented to a student musician involved in CJC jam sessions and activities.  For information on upcoming Hall of Fame events, contact Phyllis Leaverton at 515 / 276-0777.

Hall of Fame

Stu Calhoon -2003 Inductee

Although Stu’s career as a pianist began in his hometown of Pittsburgh, PA, it flourished here in Des Moines. Inspired by George Shearing, Stu began playing jazz piano in the later 1940’s. Responding to an ad in Downbeat, he landed in Des Moines in 1953 to play with the Jack Cole Band. A year later, he made his way to Southern California., returning to Iowa in 1970. Since his return, Stu has performed with a who’s who of the area’s best musicians in just about every venue possible. That includes his innovative, “Trial of Jazz” which appeared on Iowa Public Television.“Stu has definitely paid his dues and deserves this honor,” commented Sam Salomone of Stu’s induction into the Jazz Hall of Fame. “He’s been at it for a long time and keeps going and going. Just like the Energizer bunny.”