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

Ed “Turk” Darlington -2006 Inductee

Ed Darlington’s life changed when he was handed a saxophone in the junior high.  From that point on, he began analyzing every solo he heard on big band records.  By 15, he was playing professionally around his hometown of Ames, Iowa.

After serving in the U.S. army, Darlington returned to Iowa to study music at Drake University.  A year later he transferred to the Chicago Musical College to specialize in jazz studies.  Contact he made in Chicago led to a a career on the road with the bands of Gene Krupa and Ray Anthony.

In 1954, Darlington returned to Drake to complete his formal educatin and began teaching at Woodward-Granger community schools, and later at Southeast Polk.  Along with Jack Oatts, Darlington helped energize Iowa’s high school jazz band competition scene.

Throughout his teaching years, Darlington continued to perform in the area, including taking a leadership role in the early days of the Des Moines Big Band.

Upon his retirement, Ed and his wife, Wanda (Killinger), moved to Florida where he continued to play on a regular basis in a variety of venues until his sudden death in 1984.