Elijah Jamal Balbed is one of the premiere Jazz Artists in Washington, DC. Winner of the 2020 DC Jazz Prix Competition, Elijah has also been named Best Tenor Saxophonist and Best New Jazz Musician by the Washington City Paper and has been featured in various publications such as WBGO, The Washington Post, Capital Bop, and Smithsonian Magazine. Growing up in the DC area, Elijah was fortunate to learn from some of the great saxophonists in town including Paul Carr, Charlie Young, and his closest mentor Fred Foss (RIP). Elijah has shared the stage with Mike Phillips, Eric Benet, Patti Austin, Lalah Hathaway, Cyrus Chestnut, George Duke (RIP) and once shared the stage with legendary DC saxophonist Buck Hill. Elijah has also performed and/or toured with Winard Harper & Jeli Posse and The Blackbyrds. 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. During a residency at Strathmore 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.
Over the last decade, Elijah has established himself as an International Artist having performed in Japan, the United Kingdom, Jazz at Lincoln Center Doha (Qatar), and on the Capital Jazz Cruise which has taken Elijah all around the Caribbean Islands. In 2018 and 2019, Elijah led cultural diplomacy tours in Russia on behalf of the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Consulate in Yekaterinburg, sponsored by the Forum for Cultural Exchange (FCE). Most recently Elijah performed at the 2021 Port-au-Prince International Jazz Festival (#PAPJAZZ) in Port-au-Prince, Haiti with Trinidadian Steel Pan virtuoso Josanne Francis. When Elijah is not traveling, he dedicates his time at home to education and passing down the knowledge he's learned to the younger generations who haven't had the chance to connect with the masters of this music the way Elijah has been fortunate to.
For more information go to www.ejbjazz.com, www.jogoproject.com or follow on Social Media @ejbjazz @thejogoproject
Elijah is a voting member of the Washington, DC Chapter of the Recording Academy.
Elijah plays Syos Mouthpieces exclusively on Tenor Saxophone.
- Sugar Bear & E.U. - Peace Gone Away (Unreleased)
- Jake Knox - Waiting For You (2021)
- Chuck Brown Band - Summertime (2020) (Hidden Venture Records)
- The JoGo Project - Dear Draylen (2018) (The Beat & Path Records)
- Mark G Meadows - Be The Change (2018)
- Sitali Siyolwe / Juju House (March 2017)
- Chuck Brown Band - Show Me Love (May 2016)
- Mark G Meadows - To The People (April 2016)
- Mike Phillips - Pulling Off The Covers (2016)
- Sam Prather - Groove Orchestra Christmas (2015) (2 AM Music)
- Elijah Jamal Balbed - Lessons From the Streets (2015) (EJB Jazz)
- Tim Whalen - Oblivion: The Music of Bud Powell (2015)
- Pete Muldoon - The Score (2014)
- Samuel Prather - Groove Orchestra (2014) (2 AM Music)
- Integriti Reeves - Stairway to the Stars (2014)
- Christos - Long Road (2014)
- Elijah Jamal Balbed - Checking In (2012) (EJB Jazz)
- Kim Jade Fry - The Good Thing (2012)
- Yusef (Joseph Jordon) - Jazz and the Joint Forces (2012)
- Lena Seikaly - Lovely Changes (2011)
- Christos - Under the Sun (2011)
- Lydia Lewis - Cosmic Collisions (2011)
- Dhyana, Andrea Wood (2011)
- Howard University Jazz Ensemble - Ode to Life (2011)
- Howard University Jazz Ensemble - Moonwalk (2010)
- Sitali - Aluta Continua (2009)
- Howard University Jazztet, Reign (2009)
- Howard University Jazz Ensemble - Bright Moments (2009)
"...a hard swinging set of songs in the classic jazz tradition, played with precocious energy."
-Luke Stewart, Capital Bop/WPFW
(From a 2012 review of Elijah's debut album)
- House of Cards - Season 4, Episode 11 (2016)
- Lighters - Chuck Brown Band Music Video (2014) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BMhpIQrIqfQ
- Oxygen For The Ears, directed by Dr. Stefan Imler (2012) - A documentary about the status of jazz in today's society, from Washington, DC's perspective