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

Ellsworth Brown -2010 Inductee

Ellsworth Brown was originally a saxophone player who eventually switched to the piano and played around Des Moines in the late 40’s and 50’s during the height of the "Center Street" jazz club era. In addition to playing piano and saxophone, Ellworth composed many songs.

He moved to New York around 1961 and passed away in Jersey City, New Jersey on Christmas Eve of 2009.  Brown left a musical legacy behind as his son Dartanyan was also inducted the Hall of Fame in 2007 and son, Don plays saxophone and flute in Des Moines.