The Photo Issue: Jay Byers
Friday, March 23, 2012 7:00 AM
The day job: CEO, Greater Des Moines Partnership
The Photo Issue
We took a photographic peek into the hobbies of some of Des Moines leaders. Check out the photo galleries of the leaders below.
Hobby: Big Game Hunting
Byers has long served the Des Moines metropolitan area in a variety of roles, but he’s best known for his efforts at the Greater Des Moines Partnership. His hard work paid off in January, when he was chosen to replace Martha Willits as the Partnership’s CEO.
The hobby: Musician
Jay ain’t no “suit.”
OK, so he is wearing one for the purposes of our photo shoot, but this CEO can rock.
Byers plays rhythm guitar and harmonica in a band - the Dead Yellow Canaries - right here in Des Moines.
On his Takamine electric/acoustic guitar, Byers thumps out classics by Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones, Tom Petty and other legendary musicians.
His passion for music began in elementary school and blossomed when he joined a band in high school (the Blitz). Now, you can catch him with the Dead Yellow Canaries six to seven times a year at benefits and fund-raisers around Greater Des Moines. The band most recently played at Gas Lamp for the Greater Des Moines Music Coalition’s Backstage Ball on Feb. 23.
“I think music also has a lot of influence in society, in terms of really looking at cultures and how society progresses, and it really has strong ties with music and I’ve always been fascinated by that,” Byers said. “So it’s a good outlet, but it’s also a great chance to connect with people in a way they might not expect out of you.”
And if you might not have expected that Byers played guitar, guess what?
He’s also the lead singer.
VIDEO: Watch him perform
The Dead Yellow Canaries
Check out Jay Byers’ band’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/DeadYellowCanaries