The JoGo Project is a fusion ensemble with Jazz and Go-Go at the core. Founded in 2014 by DC native Elijah Jamal Balbed, the band is dedicated to keeping Go-Go music alive while also exploring new sounds. Elijah performed with the late Chuck Brown (The Godfather of Go-Go) for the last year of Mr. Brown's life. That year instilled in Elijah a new-found love for Go-Go music, which would forever influence his sound and approach to music. When it was time for Elijah to start a band of his own - he knew it had to be something bringing his Jazz and Go-Go worlds together.
Hence, The JoGo Project.
JoGo has branched outside of the DMV with performances at Club Bonafide (NYC), Silvana (NYC), Beyu Caffe (Durham, NC), The Vagabond (Richmond, VA), and many venues in and around the DC area such as Blues Alley, The Kennedy Center, The Soundry, and DC Jazz Festival (to name a few). In 2018 the band went on a cultural diplomacy tour to 3 cities in Russia for the U.S. State Department, where the musicians conducted educational masterclasses and participated in radio interviews and performances ranging from intimate Jazz clubs to massive concert halls. In 2019, the band won a 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.
Currently the band is only doing virtual concerts in light of COVID-19 but we can't wait until it's safe to perform in public again! Until then, follow / subscribe below to stay up to date.
7.16.20 - #pocketthursday at The Pocket (7pm EST)