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Greenbelt – Where Musicians Are Video’d for YouTube

posted in: Arts/Entertainment

Greenbelt is special – I’m betting you all agree. Not only do we have music festivals and a thriving live music and music festival scene but Greenbelt is increasingly where bands know they can perform and afterwards receive a nice video for promotional use and their own enjoyment.

New Deal Cafe Playlist

Let’s start with the largest collection of Greenbelt performance videos – the New Deal Cafe playlist on the Greenbelt, Maryland YouTube channel. As of today there you’ll find 170 videos there, almost all of them musical performances in the Cafe. The others are news items and Cafe-related festivals in Roosevelt Center.

Viewers can choose from three distinct video formats. The shortest are the 1-3-minute highlight videos that I make. I work with the bands to make sure they’re happy with the videos before making them public on the channel.

There are single-song videos by Dean Boyd like this next one:

And there are performance films by Mike McMullin that are just under an hour in length. They often include interviews with band members. Here’s one.

I’m so glad our videos are helping bands with their promotions because so many of them don’t have watchable performance videos on their website or YouTube channel. Instead, YouTube searches produce really bad videos made by attendees, recorded from too far away, with shaky camera, people talking nearby, etc.

So when bands are sent well-made videos of their performances in Greenbelt, they’ve been known to offer to pay us or buy us dinner (both declined). It’s reward enough that they’re thankful, and then share the videos widely.

Genres Galore

The music genres in the New Deal playlist span the entire range that we see on stage there – blues, rock, folk, jazz, Irish, bluegrass, country, Reggae, Cajun, and more. And that “more” is awfully interesting. I remember this performance of Italian folk music that thrilled the audience:

And there was the DC Labor Chorus? And the African band Dogo du Togo.

Greenbelt Access Television Playlists

Over at Greenbelt’s local access TV station, there’s another playlist of Music from the New Deal Cafe that contains 36 videos made by Mike McMullin.and one by GATe board member and videographer-about-town John Campanile. .

There are also 27 videos in GATe’s “Miscellaneous Performances” playlist, including those by the Greenbelt Concert Band, the Merry Ukulettes and the Eleanor Roosevelt High School Jazz Band. A particularly memorable performance is the “A Candle in the Window” video for peak-covid Christmas by Chris Cherry.

More Entertainment Coverage by GATe

Speaking of entertaining, the GATe channel also has playlists about the Old Greenbelt Theatre and the Greenbelt Arts Center.

Videos Promote Greenbelt as Arts&Entertainment Hub

Videos are the hottest medium in promotions these days – or so I read – so venues like the New Deal and the bands themselves are eager to share them. Which is great. AND as these videos are shared, especially by bands in the DMV and beyond, they’re spreading the word that Greenbelt itself is a hub of creativity, especially musically.

What’s also helping to spread the word are the awards that the New Deal Case keeps winning, like the DMV-wide reader survey by DC’s City Paper.

Follow Susan Harris:
Susan started blogging about Greenbelt soon after moving here in 2012, and that blog has grown into this nonprofit community website. She also created and curates the Greenbelt Maryland YouTube channel. In 2021 Susan joined the Board of Directors of Greenbelt Access TV. Retired from garden writing and teaching, she continues to blog weekly at GardenRant.com.

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