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The JoGo Project a band in the Washington, DC area combining elements of jazz, funk, r&b, rock, even pop, and of course, Go-Go musics to create a fresh, healthy blend of styles that is sure to keep you on the dance floor! Founded by saxophonist Elijah Jamal Balbed in 2014, the goal of The JoGo Project is to unite cultures and communities, by introducing jazz fans to Go-Go and vice versa. In the spirit of the Godfather of Go-Go, Chuck Brown, we want everybody to come together as one and experience the music and the vibes together. Chuck always spread love and positivity wherever he went, and they're dedicated to keeping that movement ALIVE!
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The JoGo Project is a WAMMIE Award-winning Jazz and Go-Go fusion band from Washington, DC founded in 2014 by DC Native Elijah Jamal Balbed, who performed with the late, great Godfather of Go-Go Chuck Brown. Elijah played in Chuck's band from May of 2011 until Mr. Brown's passing the following year. Elijah's last gig with Chuck was in February 2012 and the last few songs were recorded on a camera phone from an audience member. A few years later, Elijah was accepted into the Artist-in-Residence program at Strathmore and decided it was time to start a band to continue Chuck's legacy and bring his Jazz and Go-Go worlds together - hence The JoGo Project. Nine years later, JoGo has become a mainstay in the DC music community and is dedicated as ever to keeping DC's Go-Go music alive while also exploring new sounds and repertoire. Over the years, the band has written several original songs and arrangements, having recorded an EP and several singles including a collaboration with the legendary Sugar Bear. In 2017, JoGo Project was commissioned to write 3 original works that were exclusively featured in the video game Tom Clancy's The Division 2.
JoGo has performed at many notable DC area venues such as The Kennedy Center, Lincoln Theatre, Strathmore, Fort Dupont and DC Jazz Festival. The band has also branched outside of the DMV with performances at Club Bonafide (NYC), Silvana (NYC), Beyu Caffe (Durham, NC), and The Vagabond (Richmond, VA). In 2018 the band went on a cultural diplomacy tour to 3 cities in Russia (Moscow, Orenburg, and Yekaterinburg) on behalf of the U.S. State Department, where the musicians conducted educational masterclasses, participated in radio interviews, and did performances ranging from intimate Jazz clubs to massive concert halls. In 2019, the band won the WAMMIE Award in the category of Best Go-Go Song for "Dear Draylen" composed by Elijah, with lyrics by JusPaul Spires and featured artist Wes Felton. In 2020, the band released their debut holiday track "JoGo Christmas" featuring Go-Go legend Sugar Bear. Since June of 2021, JoGo has maintained a residency at Keystone Korner, a historic venue where the likes of Grover Washington and Patrice Rushen have performed. Most recently, Elijah was included in a published book called "DC Go-Go: Ten Years Backstage" by Chip Py - Chuck Brown's official photographer.