About the Band
Singer, Jeff Hypnarowski, and keyboardist, Ken Africano, formed Jelly Jar in 1996. Bass player, Bill Savino, and drummer, Kevin Roth, have also been with the band from the start and guitarist John Brady joined the band in about 2007. Jelly Jar started out as a straight-ahead blues band and was a regular at the Lafayette Tap Room for years. Since then, the group has expanded its set list to include a wide variety of popular rock, soul and r’n’b songs. Today you will hear Jelly Jar provide its own unique take on cover songs by artists such as Ray Charles, Michael Jackson, Prince, Billy Preston, Bill Withers, BB King, The Beatles, The Temptations, the Stones, Al Green and the Commodores. Jelly Jar is a true bar band and it is designed to entertain and get people moving. It can and will play a wide variety of music to fit any venue. The band has played hundreds of gigs around Western New York at clubs such as the 31 Club, The Sportsmen’s Tavern, Acqua, Alternative Brews, The Hatch, Templeton Landing, Balloons in Ellicottville, 800 Maple, Verbena, Lafayette Tap Room, the Tralf, Queen City Blues Club, Double Ds and has played many area festivals, including the Buffalo Blues Fest, the Art Park Blues Festival, the Lewiston Blues Fest, the Ellicottville Blues Fest and the Red, White & Blues Festival.
Jelly Jar has received strong reviews and attention. The Buffalo Blues Beat gave Jelly Jar a "Muddy" award for excellence. In a rave review, The Buffalo News called Jelly Jar a band that could "take a song and not only do it justice but make it better." The News called Jelly Jar's singer, Jeff Hypnarowski, an "outstanding talent," with "extraordinary vocals . . . that shake the ground." (The Buffalo News). Buffalo Blues Beat described lead singer Jeff Hypnarowski, as "Hypnotic . . . a mesmerizer" and described the arrangements as "interesting and intricate" and called the band's keyboard playing as being “outstanding as usual” and the rhythm section as being "transcendent." The Buffalo News again complimented Jelly Jar in another review stating: "Jelly Jar is an entertaining bar band with a level of musicianship you don't often hear." (The Buffalo News). When Jelly Jar opened for national blues artist Tinsley Ellis, the band received favorable reviews from Blues Beat who stated Jelly Jar was "a band you'll want to see, and soon," and also commented on the "terrific" vocals of Jeff Hypnarowski and "skillful keyboards of Ken Africano." The Buffalo Blues Beat did a lengthy feature story on Jelly Jar where they stated: "This is an ALIVE! band you'll definitely want to see up close and personal."
All of Jelly Jar members have extensive professional experience and serious ‘chops.’ Singer Jeff Hypnarowski has been singing professionally for more than 20 years. In addition to Jelly Jar, he sings in Tiger Chung Lee. Before forming Jelly Jar, keyboardist Ken Africano played with Crash Rooster, Blues Riders and a variety of jazz groups. Drummer Kevin Roth, formerly of Stan and the Ravens and Planet 9, brings to the band more than 40 years of professional experience. Bass player Bill Savino performed professionally for over 40 years including approximately 12 years with nationally renowned jazz drummer, Bobby Previte. Jelly Jar’s guitarist is John Brady, who is in the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame, has written songs for the likes of Albert Collins and has over 40 years of experience performing and teaching guitar.