MILLERSBURG — Don’t take any wooden nickels, but visit one if you have a hankering for a hearty bowl of chili, some cool jazz and the sounds of a Blue Elephant.
Millersburg is the place you need to be Friday night to experience all this and more when the Wooden Nickel in Millersburg hosts a Chili & Jazz dinner to benefit the nearby Ned Smith Center for Nature and Art.
“Why should people come to this event? Well, let’s see ... there are many reasons — good food; the chance to hear some veteran musicians performing totally unrehearsed and very spontaneous,” said Jeff Lynn, of the discombobulated group of musicians that call themselves Blue Elephant. “Best of all, coming to this event helps the Ned Smith Center which is a beautiful place that is all about nature. So it’s going to be a night of fun and all for a great cause.”
An annual event held to raise funds for the center, the evening will feature homemade cornbread and the Wooden Nickel’s hearty and popular chili.
Throughout the evening, a musical mishmash of songs and performers will take center stage creating a very informal and unexpected musical experience.
“This is part fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants and part get-up-there-and play-some-really-good-music without a set list or a set idea of what type of music we’ll play,” said Lynch, a noted bass player based in Harrisburg.
The core players in Blue Elephant, a catch-all type band created as an ever-changing band open to area musicians willing to jam and make some sounds.
The foundation for this mighty musical elephant are Lynch and the talented and highly-regarded Ray Santanna, a mainstay on the Harrisburg music scene who has the talent to play almost any instrument that has strings.