GROUNDATION returns in 2018 after a 3 year hiatus; debuting accomplished new members, brand new music and that true to form improvisational Reggae/Jazz experience. Their music remains ”cutting edge” as it infuses polyrhythmic and harmonic jazz elements along with long extended solos into their roots reggae sound.
Groundation was founded in the fall of 1998 when Harrison Stafford (guitar/lead vocals) joined together Ryan Newman (bass), Jason Bodlovitch (drums), and Marcus Urani (keys) all enrolled at the jazz program at California’s Sonoma State University to form the core of Groundation’s style and sound. Over the years, the band grew to become a 9 piece band including a Jazz horn section featuring many brilliant musicians.
The band derived its name from the ”grounation,” the Rastafarian ceremony of the same name. Grounations are ancestral Rastafarian gatherings aimed at reaching a common vibration through the positive power of prayer and music – something that the band shares with its fans at each concert. Groundation may be based on an ancient tradition, but it is an idea for today.
Groundation is beginning their 20th year and will be releasing their 9th studio album in September which features the first ever reggae BIG BAND song (5 saxs, 4 trumpets, 3 trombones) to open the album. Their music is a cross-over to jazz and jam band listeners as the group features many jazz musicians including young drummer phenom Jake Shandling out of New York and DownBeat’s B3 organ award winner Wil Blades.