Elijah Jamal 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 had several media 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. Elijah and his band the EJB Quartet were the winners of the 2020 DC Jazz Prix for their performance of Elijah's acclaimed body of work "The Karma Suite".
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, Bohemian Caverns, and 202Creates. 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). Currently, Elijah is a resident artist & instructor at Suitland High School for the Visual and Performing Arts, as well as the Bethesda Blues & Jazz Youth Orchestra.
Since then, Elijah has also established himself as an International Artist having performed in Japan, the United Kingdom, Qatar, and on the Capital Jazz Cruise which has taken Elijah all around the Caribbean Islands and given him the opportunity to perform with Mike Phillips, Lalah Hathaway, Eric Roberson, Jonathan Butler, Maysa, Raheem DeVaughn, Avery Sunshine, and many others. In 2018 and 2019, Elijah went on cultural diplomacy tours in Russia on behalf of the U.S. State Department. In 2021, Elijah traveled to Port-au-Prince, Haiti to perform at the Port-au-Prince International Jazz Festival (or PAPJAZZ). Elijah maintains a full performance schedule and will be touring this Summer and Fall.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Elijah started organizing concerts in parks and other public spaces in DC which came to be known as "JazzMob DC". Elijah's efforts were recognized with a full page spread in The Washington Post.
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