More than two decades into a storied career, GROUNDATION returns this year with their 10th studio album, One Rock released May 13, 2022. The band has helped define American roots reggae, while building a large and loyal following in Europe, South America and in the US, where they have been a consistent major headliner and festival attraction for the last 15 years. The new album, One Rock keeps their sound and legacy moving ever forward with 9 powerful songs featuring complex arrangements, moving melodies and lyrics that touch on the human condition, the human spirit and the state of the world. Always a group to respect their elders, on this album GROUNDATION makes history once again collaborating with the legendary reggae vocal groups Israel Vibration, The Abyssinians and The Congos.
GROUNDATION formed in 1998 when Stafford started a roots reggae/jazz fusion group with fellow students at the Jazz Performance program at Sonoma State University. Stafford’s interest and knowledge of the reggae genre led to him developing and offering a course he taught at Sonoma State called “The History of Reggae Music.” Reggae legends like Joseph Hill of Culture and historical icons like Abba Melchezadek (Haile Selassie’s private secretary) amongst others came and shared their personal experiences with the classes.
GROUNDATION’s first 2 albums, Young Tree and Each One Teach One, established their unique roots sound while also commencing collaborations with foundational reggae artists. Each One Teach One features the vocalist Marcia Higgs and the Nyabinghi drumming master Ras Michael.
In 1999, while in Jamaica, Harrison met the legendary engineer Jim Fox, who did extensive production and recording for RAS Records, including their most iconic releases. This was the beginning of a longstanding relationship between GROUNDATION and Lion and Fox recording studios. Subsequently Fox re-mastered Young Tree and Each One Teach One and he recorded and mixed Hebron Gate (2002), the album that launched GROUNDATION into international acclaim. Fox has continued working with GROUNDATION on their subsequent releases helping to shape their sound on We Free Again (2004), Upon The Bridge (2006), Here I Am (2009), Building An Ark (2012) and A Miracle (2014). Together they built a catalog of genre-bending, deep, progressive roots reggae music.
GROUNDATION’s visual artwork has also had a consistent look and feel headed by Giovanni Maki, Stafford’s childhood friend. Giovanni has created the album graphics and visual designs for GROUNDATION from the group’s inception.