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Elijah Jamal Balbed
Sax, Trumpet, Piano, Bass & Drums
Saxophonist and composer Elijah Jamal Balbed will performing original music and arrangements of some classics. Named Best New Jazz Musician by Washington City Paper, Elijah is currently a Strathmore Artist-in-Residence. He hails from Washington, D.C. and has studied with the area's top educators: Paul Carr, Charlie Young, and Fred Foss. Balbed's credits reach beyond the district, having performed in cities across the United States, as well as four cities in Japan (Tokyo, Yokohama, Nagano, and Karuizawa). Balbed attended Howard University, where he was a featured soloist in the Howard University Jazz Ensemble (HUJE) and regular member of the HU Jazztet. As a student he appeared on five albums with the groups and performed with Bunky Green, McCoy Tyner, Pharoah Sanders, Bennie Maupin, and Larry Willis. Balbed also had the rare opportunity to perform as a part-time band member for music legend and Godfather of Go-Go, the late Mr. Chuck Brown. He performed with Mr. Brown from May of 2011 until his death in May of 2012.
For several years Balbed has been a resident artist at the legendary jazz club, Bohemian Caverns. In addition to being a charter member of the club's house band, the Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra, he has served as Artist-in-Residence at the club in July, 2011 and in April, 2013. The first residency led to the recording of his debut album, Checking In, which has been critically acclaimed in the area. The title track awarded Elijah as a finalist in the International Songwriters Competition, and is also used as a jingle on DC’s only jazz radio station, WPFW. Balbed performs along the East Coast with his own group, and was a recent participant in the Kennedy Center’s Betty Carter Jazz Ahead residency program. Elijah is currently an Artist-in-Residence at the Strathmore, where he will be attending workshops, working with mentors, and collaborating with the other resident artists in interesting and creative new ways. The program will culminate in two concerts in May of 2014.