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

Jim Bowermaster -2006 Inductee

As a high School student in Fairfield, Iowa, Jim Bowermaster’s drumming skills earned him the title of a National Rudimental Champion. In his senior year, he placed a “drummer for hire” ad in Downbeat and began his “gigging” career with area bands.

After attending the University of Iowa, Bowermaster decided to pursue a career in journalism, eventually landing a job with a Des Moines advertising agency in 1963.

After joining the West Des Moines Kiwanis Club, word got our that Bowermaster was a drummer, and an Iowa jazz tradition was born – the West Des Moines Dixieland Band.

Although Bowermaster set down his drumsticks in 1986, he never lost his passion for music. He was known to thousands of central Iowan’s as “The Jazz Man,” hosting a show for 15 years on KRNT radio.

Jim Bowermaster died on July 20, 2005, but his legacy lives on in his son Kurt, also a drummer, and the active Dixieland scene in Iowa.