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

Robert (Bob) Weast -2007 Inductee

During his 66 years as a performer, trumpeter Bob Weast has done it all — playing in a speakeasy at the age of 14, being on the road with big bands in the late 1940s, giving trumpet lessons in Costa Rica!

An emeritus professor of music from Drake, Bob created the university’s first official big band. Among the many students that played in this band during Bob’s teaching career were Dartanyan Brown, Marcia Miget, Frank Tribble, Dick Oatts, Vern Hansen and Mitch Espe. While at Drake, Bob also managed the school’s annual jazz spectacular which brought the bands of Duke Ellington, Buddy Rich, Thad Jones/Mel Lewis and Stan Kenton to the community.

Bob’s reputation as a musician, however, reaches far beyond Iowa. He was managing editor for Brass World, has published three pedagogical brass instrument books and organized and played big band benefit concerts in Rio Grande Valley for two Mexican orphanages.