About Elijah

Elijah Jamal Balbed is native of the DMV area and 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 (2013) and Best New Jazz Musician (2009) by the Washington City Paper and has been featured in various publications such as WBGO, The Washington Post, Capital Bop, and Smithsonian Magazine. Elijah has performed, recorded, and/or toured with Fantasia, The Blackbyrds, Winard Harper & Jeli Posse, Patti Austin, Angelique Kidjo, Dr. John (RIP), George Duke (RIP), and Sugar Bear. Elijah performed with The Godfather of Go-Go Chuck Brown from 2011 until Mr. Brown’s passing in 2012. During his participation in the Artist-in-Residence program 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 also 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). In 2021, Elijah performed at the Port-au-Prince International Jazz Festival (#PAPJAZZ) in Port-au-Prince, Haiti with Trinidadian Steel Pan player Josanne Francis. Elijah currently performs and tours with Saxophonist Mike Phillips, The Chuck Brown Band, & Doug E Fresh. 

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 plays Syos Mouthpieces and Schagerl Saxophones, and uses MEE Audio In-Ear Monitors.


  • Wanted Man - Channels Volume 1 (2023)
  • Dominique Bianco - I'm All Smiles (2022)
  • Sugar Bear & E.U. - Peace Gone Away (2022)
  • Jake Knox - Waiting For You (2021)
  • Smitty feat Frank McComb - Someday We'll All Be Free (2020)
  • Chuck Brown Band - Summertime (2020) (Hidden Venture Records)
  • The JoGo Project - JoGo Christmas feat Sugar Bear (2020)
  • Elijah Jamal Balbed - The Karma Suite (2020) (EJB Jazz)
  • 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)

                                FILM/VIDEO APPEARANCES

  • 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