The Kennedy Center

The Elijah Balbed & The JoGo Project


Saxophonist and composer Elijah Jamal Balbed is a modern musician strongly rooted in tradition jazz, with a sound that tastefully blends the old with the new. A native of Washington, D.C., Mr. Balbed's credits include many world-class musicians, such as Pharoah Sanders, McCoy Tyner, Bennie Maupin, George Duke, Mya, and Lalah Hathaway, among others.

Mr. Balbed has received accolades from the Washington City Paper as Best New Jazz Musician (2010), and as a member of the Donvonte McCoy Quintet, which won Best Jazz Small Group (2011). He also performs with Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra, Funk Ark, and, most recently, the godfather of Go-Go, Chuck Brown.

The JoGo Project is a new band in the Washington, D.C-area, combining elements of jazz, funk, R&B, rock, even pop and, of course, Go-Go music, to create a sophisticated, yet soulful, and enjoyable listening experience for the masses. The JoGo Project brings to you a fresh and healthy blend of styles that will have you bopping your head, and hopefully dancing! Founded by D.C.-based saxophonist and composer Elijah Balbed, the goal of The JoGo Project is to unite cultures and communities by introducing jazz fans to Go-Go and vice versa.

Watch Past Performances

Video 6/8/2015: Elijah Balbed & The JoGo Project

The D.C.-based group created by saxophonist Elijah Balbed brings its mix of jazz, rock, hip-hop, and, of course, go-go for a lively performance. Part of DC Jazz Festival.

Video 11/28/2014: Elijah Balbed & JoGo Project

A Strathmore Artist-in-Residence and a former part-time member of the Godfather of Go-Go Chuck Brown’s band, the saxophonist's 10-piece brainchild blends jazz, Go-Go, funk, R&B, and more in an energetic, hard grooving performance.

Video 4/2/2012: Elijah Jamal Balbed Quintet

The ensemble, led by the DC native saxophonist and composer, plays primarily original material with elements of swing and the blues.

The Elijah Jamal Balbed Quintet