It is said that if you don't know your past, you don't know your future; well
Groundation knows its past, and they're stepping into the future. While capturing the
essence of true roots reggae, internationally renowned, Groundation aims to take the genre
to a new height by blending elements of both jazz and dub in their sound.
Groundation emerged from the depths of the studio with their 4th album entitled
"We Free Again" in November of 2004 to critical acclaim. The music is fresh and
new proving once again that they are committed to the task of groundbreaking original
music. Their previous release "Hebron Gate" received worldwide acclaim including
a nomination for Germanyís coveted "World Music Award". For this most recent
release Groundation united for the first time in reggae history Apple Gabriel (Israel
Vibration) and Don Carlos (Black Uhuru).
The name 'Groundation' came from trying to get everyone on the same level so
people can talk and feel free to educate each other and learn from each other, and not
come from a hierarchy or some type of leveled class situation. Groundation was founded in
the fall of 1998 when three long time musicians Marcus Urani, Ryan Newman, and Harrison
Stafford came together to form the core of the pioneering sound. They were later joined in
2000 by San Francisco based Jazz trumpeter David Chachere and the North Bayís Kelsey
Howard on trombone. Groundation saxophonist Jason Robinson has gone on to become the head
of the Jazz program at UC San Diego as well as breathing new life into the Southern
California Jazz scene. Drummer Paul Spina (Les Claypool, Will Bernardís Mother Bug) has
been with the group since taking over from original set player James Stafford in December
|Groundation recently returned from their first
European tour in which 17 of 22 shows were sold with fans singing word-for-word the lyrics
to their songs. In Strasbourg, France Groundation had the honor of sharing the stage with
Bushman and Warrior King, and then continued on to solo sold out shows in Germany, Belgium
and Switzerland. They are embarking on a second tour during the summer of 2005 with plans
to perform at some of the major European festivals.
The North American
release of "We Free Again" is once again being handled by the group's growing
Bay Area record label Young Tree Records. Established in 2001 by lead singer Harrison
Stafford and Kris Dilbeck the label has planned releases with such legendary Jamaican
groups as The Congos, Pablo Moses, and Winston Jarrett & The Righteous Flames.
Harrison Stafford also taught the first University course on the History of Reggae Music
(Sonoma State University 99-01).