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

Don Hoy -2008 Inductee

If you were a jazz musician working in Des Moines in the 1950’s through the 1980’s, chances are you worked for Don Hoy.  Born in 1922 in Brookly, Iowa and educated at Drake University; Don always made room in his big bands and combos for jazz players in the area.

Don led a series of big bands for more than 50 years, playing everything from society gigs to touring ballrooms throughout the Midwest.  Numerous Don Hoy combos worked every weekend of the year, playing weddings and other “casuals” throughout Iowa.  Many ballroom dancers have fond memories of listening and dancing to the classic arrangements of the Don Hoy Orchestra.  Many jazz musicians are grateful for the income and playing opportunities that those gigs afforded them.

Don passed away in 1994, but his musical memory is being kept alive by John Morgan who currently has the “Don Hoy Book” of arrangements.