Groundation formed in 1998 when Stafford began a roots reggae/jazz fusion group with bassist Ryan Newman, keyboardist Marcus Urani, and drummer James Stafford, all of whom were in the same Jazz Performance program at Sonoma State University. The group’s first 2 albums (Young Tree and Each One Teach One) established their unique roots sound, while also beginning the band’s long affiliation with foundational reggae artists, as Each One Teach One features vocalist Marcia Higgs and drumming master Ras Michael. Stafford’s deep knowledge of the reggae genre led to him developing a course he taught at Sonoma State called “The History of Reggae Music,” where legends like Joseph Hill of Culture and historical icons like Abba Melchezadek (Haile Selassie’s private secretary) would come to share their personal experiences.
In 1999, while in Jamaica, Harrison met the legendary engineer Jim Fox, who was involved with the production of many of RAS Records’ most iconic releases. Fox remastered both Young Tree and Each One Teach One and recorded Hebron Gate (2002), the album that launched Groundation to international acclaim. Fox has continued working with the band on every subsequent release, helping to shape their sound on We Free Again (2004), Upon The Bridge (2006), Here I Am (2009), and Building An Ark (2012), creating a catalog of genre-bending, deep, progressive roots reggae music. Similarly, Groundation’s artwork had a consistent look and feel, in collaboration with Stafford’s childhood friend, Giovanni Maki, creating all visual designs from the very beginning.
Through the years, Groundation has performed in over 35 countries on 5 continents. The band, which had number of personnel changes over the years, but always built around Harrison Stafford’s leadership, continued to bring reggae into new worlds, with their last studio album, The Next Generation (2018) opening with a full jazz big band (featuring 12 horn players). This album beat out Ziggy Marley and others to win Reggae.fr’s “Best Roots Reggae Album of 2018,” voted on by over 16,000 media members, musicians, producers, and fans. The band has extensive tour dates and festivals set up for the coming year in Europe, especially in France, South America, and in the USA.
Look for much more news about Groundation and One Rock in the coming months leading up to the album’s release.
NEWS ABOUT GROUNDATION
“MARKET PRICE” IS OUT NOW ON EASY STAR RECORDS/BACO RECORDSAfter dropping three notable singles, Groundation releases “Market Price,” an inspiring spiritual track showcasing the diversity of the group’s upcoming studio album One Rock. The [...]
KIRSTY ROCK – LEAD SINGER FOR EASY STAR ALL-STARS – RELEASES NEW SINGLE FROM HER UPCOMING SOLO ALBUM DEBUT
Kirsty Rock, best known around the world as a member of the internationally renowned reggae super group, Easy Star All-Stars, brings the fire with her own distinctive, soulful, and earthy reggae sound on her [...]
“ONE ROCK” FEATURING THE CONGOS OUT NOW ON BACO RECORDS/EASY STAR RECORDSAfter dropping two stellar singles, Groundation unleashes the title track “One Rock” and this new single lives up to its name. If "Original [...]