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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. 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 as dedicated as ever to keeping DC’s Go-Go music alive while also exploring new sounds and repertoire. The band also takes pride in writing and performing original go-go songs, in addition to unique, less often played covers.
JoGo has performed at many notable DMV and Baltimore area venues such as Blues Alley, Keystone Korner, The Kennedy Center, Lincoln Theatre, Strathmore, Fort Dupont, and DC Jazz Festival. The band has also branched outside of the DMV having performed in North Carolina, Richmond, and New York City. 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,” which will be performed at this concert, as well as more holiday classics and JoGo favorites.