About the Greater Des Moines Community Jazz Center

Welcome to the 

Des Moines Community Jazz Center 

Community Jazz Center


The 2015 Hall of Fame & Jazz Recognition Awards

Sunday, October 18 at Adventureland Inn

Mark your calendars for the 15th annual Celebration of Des Moines Jazz by honoring musicians, educators and promoters who have made significant contributions to jazz in Central Iowa.


Janey Hooper (vocals, keyboard)


Turner Center Jazz Orchestra

Dave Rezek (trumpet and bandleader)


Ben Chappell (guitarist)


Taylor Ingram (saxophone)

There will be live music with “The Jim Eklof Trio featuring Tanner Taylor and Steve Charlson, Taylor Igram and Friends, The CJC Youth Combo, Dave Rezek and many more. 

Tickets are $20 advance and $25 on the day of the event.   A special meal is available for a nominal fee (details to follow soon).  Phone Phyllis Leaverton at 515-276-0777 for additional information.

The STU CALHOON SILENT AUCTION” to benefit the CJC will take place during this year’s event.    Visit the Silent Auction Table to peruse the many great items that you could take home.  You could be the winner of a $50 Gift Certificate to Café di Scala (must be used before 12/31/2015), a package to The Blank Park Zoo, four tickets to Adventureland Park in 2016 or many other great items.  If you have an item that you would like to donate to benefit the CJC, please contact Penny Krantz at psm41@aol.com before October 14 to make arrangements.  

Visit this site frequently for updated information and jazz schedules in Des Moines.  Read more below to learn about the CJC! 

CJC Jam Sessons at Java Joe's are the first Sunday of every month from 2:00 - 4:00.  FREE!


The CJC was formed by Willie Thomas, a nationally known trumpet player, in March of 1988. Its mission was to provide young musicians an opportunity to interact and share their gifted talents with area students. Since the departure of Mr. Thomas, the CJC has thrived under the leadership of Phyllis Leaverton.

The main objective of the CJC is to provide young musicians an opportunity to develop their talents and enjoy music in a non-competitive environment. The structured monthly jam sessions are beneficial in this way - to both student musicians and professional musicians alike.

Over the years, CJC has maintained a regular monthly jam session on the first Sunday of every month at Java Joe's Coffeehouse in downtown Des Moines (214 4th Street). The CJC Big Band also performs there on the third Sunday of every month.

- CJC Big Band -

The CJC sponsors an annual Junior High Jazz Festival and also the CJC Honor Bands which provide valuable experience for young musicians with an interest in Jazz.

Every October since 2001, the CJC sponsors the CJC Jazz Hall Of Fame and Special Recognition Awards (click "Hall of Fame above). This is an impressive evening that pays tribute to important long-time musicians, educators and promoters in the Des Moines area.

The CJC intends to be the source for JAZZ infomation in Des Moines. More and more young people in Des Moines are discovering this important American ART form and the CJC is here to help promote local JAZZ in Des Moines! Please feel free to contact us with questions or suggestions.

You can become a supporter of the Community Jazz Center!

Click to make a Tax Deductible donations to CJC.

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