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

Bob Washut - 2013 INDUCTEE

Bob Washut was inducted in the CJC Hall Of Fame in October of 2013 for his tremendous influence on many of the contemporary jazz musicians living and performing in Des Moines.

Robert Washut is Professor of Music at the University of Northern Iowa, where he served as Director of Jazz Studies from 1980-2002. An accomplished jazz composer and arranger, Washut has received numerous commissions from collegiate and high school jazz ensembles, professional jazz artists, and symphony orchestras. Many of his works are published by Kendor Music (Delevan, NY), UNC Jazz Press (Greeley,CO), Walrus Music Publishing/ejazzlines (Saratoga Springs, NY), C.L. Barnhouse (Oskaloosa, IA), Heritage JazzWorks (Lorenz Corp - Dayton, OH), Sierra Music (Liberty Lake, WI) and Really Good Music (Eau Claire, WI). Washut also has served as a jazz composer-in-residence at numerous universities around the country.

During his 22 years as director of the award-winning UNI Jazz Band One, Washut recorded 11 CDs (two of which earned 5-star ratings from DownBeat magazine), toured Europe three times, consistently received "Outstanding Band" recognition at collegiate jazz festivals throughout the Midwest, and was awarded three "Outstanding Performance" citations in DownBeat's Annual Student Music Awards.

He is in demand as a clinician and adjudicator nationally, and has conducted all-state jazz bands in 15 states. He is also a jazz pianist who founded the locally popular Latin jazz band, Orquesta Alto Maiz, in 1986, with which he remained for 27 years. Washut recorded and released a jazz trio CD entitled Songbook (with Mark Urness and Kevin Hart) in 1999 and a duo CD (with Chris Merz) entitled Gemini in 2007. With Orquesta Alto Maiz, he recorded 10 CDs and performed nationally and internationally. Washut was inducted into the Des Moines CJC Hall of Fame in 2013 and the Iowa IAJE Hall of Fame in 2003. At UNI he was the recipient of the Distinguished Scholar Award in 2015 and the College of Humanities, Arts and Sciences Dean's Award for Excellence in Scholarship, Research and Creative Activity in 2014. He received the Outstanding Teaching Award in 1996.