Artists in Residence
Elijah Jamal Balbed
Elijah Jamel Balbed is one of the premiere Jazz Artists in Washington, DC. He has been named Best Tenor Saxophonist and Best New Jazz Musician by the Washington City Paper, and has since had several features including Capital Bop, Smithsonian Magazine, OnTap Magazine (now District Fray), and The Washington Post. An alumnus of the legendary Jazz Studies program at Howard University, Elijah has established himself as a versatile musician with several musical projects and interests.
In addition to Jazz, Elijah has a deep love for DC’s indigenous music known as Go-Go. Elijah performed with The Godfather of Go-Go Chuck Brown from 2011 until Mr. Brown’s passing in 2012. In 2014, Elijah founded The JoGo Project - a Jazz / Go-Go fusion band dedicated to promoting and preserving the legacy of DC’s unique art form. Since then, the band has become one of the only Go-Go bands today consistently writing and producing original music.
Between 2013-15, Elijah participated in residencies at The Kennedy Center (Jazz Ahead Program), Strathmore, and Bohemian Caverns. In 2018, Elijah was named a 202Creates Resident Artist. In 2019, Elijah and JoGo Project won a WAMMIE Award for Best Go-Go Song (Dear Draylen).
Since then, Elijah has also established himself as an International Artist having performed in Japan, the United Kingdom with the legendary Blackbyrds, Qatar, and on the Capital Jazz Cruise which has taken Elijah all around the Caribbean Islands and given him the opportunity to perform with Lalah Hathaway, Eric Roberson, Jonathan Butler, Maysa, Raheem DeVaughn, Avery Sunshine, Mike Phillips, and many others. In 2018 and 2019, Elijah went on cultural diplomacy tours in Russia on behalf of the U.S. State Department.