2016 - Women Who Rock
Janey Hooper’s music career began in 1972 at Pines Bar. She went there to watch her dad call Bingo. The band playing there that night was in desperate need of a last minute substitute pianist. Her father bragged that his daughter played “piana.” The owner had her sit in, and so began a 40-year career as a vocalist and pianist whose versatility has made her one of Des Moines’ most sought after musicians in the realm of jazz, blues, gospel, R&B, and funk.
Although Hooper’s most treasured accomplishments have been motherhood (and now grandmotherhood), she has been honored with an induction into the Iowa Rock and Roll Music Association Hall of Fame and has also received special recognition from the Iowa Jazz Hall of Fame.
Other memorable career highlights include headlining for blues artists Robert Cray, Lonnie Brooks, Buckwheat Zideco, the Marvelets, and Lou Christi. Hooper also had the privilege of accompanying Chuck Berry for the Iowa Caucuses Celebration and singing the National Anthem to kick off an NBA basketball game. She performed for The Bridges of Madison County movie wrap party attended by Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep. She has played for numerous politicians, business organizations, weddings, clubs and commercials.
Currently, Hooper plays for Seniors in the Des Moines area through the non-profit organization, The Merry Makers. She can also be found playing regularly at the Gas Lamp every Thursday.