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Gerardo Meza performs with Hanna Bendler, Kimberly Moser

Gerardo Meza performs with backup vocialists Hanna Bendler (far left) and Kimberly Moeser at a GIRLPowR fundraiser last year at the Rococo Theater. Meza and his Dead of Night band will kick off the new Hub & Soul music series Aug. 15 at the three-block Union Plaza.

A new free concert series will kick off Thursday with music from Gerardo Meza and the Dead of Night at Union Plaza, 21st and Q streets.

Called Hub & Soul, the six-week series will feature local musicians, local food and Lincoln’s parks. It will take place from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on consecutive Thursdays at the three-block Union Plaza, home to the Jayne Snyder Trails Center and the hub for Lincoln’s 134-mile trails network.

The series, put together by Susan Larson Rodenburg, a member of the Lincoln Parks and Recreation Foundation board and cycling advocate, Doug Dittman of The Hub Cafe and local music promoter Spencer Munson is timed to follow the popular Stransky Park summer concert series that is held on Thursday nights from May through July.

“We didn’t want to compete,” Munson said. “We had the summer heat, it fits better going into August and September. We’re running this right up to Lincoln Calling, so it’s a lead-up event for the festival.”

Munson selected the half-dozen local bands and solo artists that will play the series. “They’re definitely bands I feel are not only accessible, but are creating amazing original music,” he said. “And with Jarana, it’s diverse as well.”

The series will also feature food prepared by The Hub Cafe, with a specific menu for each evening, that is paired with craft beer from a local brewer.

“We’re hoping foodies and beer fans really enjoy this as well,” Munson said. “Getting the city to allow us to sell food and drink in that space is a big step. We’re hoping that helps solidify the space to be successful.

The 2019 nonprofit series partner is the Great Plains Trails Network, a group of citizens who advocate and support a network of trails in and around Lancaster County. With several major trails intersecting Union Plaza, bicycling and walking to the event is encouraged. Bicycle parking will be available and there is also a BikeLNK station at 21st and Q.

Free parking in the Assurity parking garage at 20th and Q will be available after 4:30 p.m.

The series is presented by Assurity. Sponsors include The Hub Café, Lincoln Parks Foundation, KZUM Radio, Eagle Printing and Sign and Eleanor Creative. The series is part of the Party in the Parks program sponsored by the Lincoln Parks and Recreation Department.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7244 or kwolgamott@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSWolgamott.

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