Bursting forth from their underground status, Groundation taking the music industry by storm. While capturing the essence and drive of true Roots Reggae, internationally renowned Groundation aims to take the art of genre-bending to new heights by blending elements of both Jazz/Funk fusion and transcendental Dub in their progressive amalgam of sound.
Fans of Fusion music across the globe have taken note. It is fair to say that no other band today is playing music like Groundation currently does. Whether on their masterfully self-produced studio albums or in the midst of their now legendary live-performances, Groundation's sound is both without category and yet deeply familiar. Whether a fan of Jazz improvisation, the deep grooves of Funk and Dub or the challenging consciousness of Roots Reggae, Groundation offers whoever listens an access point for connecting to the music.
Over just the last few years Groundation has played to hundreds of thousands of fans all over the world––headlining festivals from Morocco to Germany to Australia and packing legendary venues such as le' Zenith in Paris, Barby Club in Tel Aviv, Gran Rex in Buenos Aires and nearly all points in between. Now it seems that the band's home country of USA is finally catching up, with major coast-to-coast tours in 2010 and 2011––all leading up to the release of their new, instant-classic of an album Building An Ark and another major US tour in 2012. Having developed an unparalleled international following, Groundation has become the world-wide leader of the contemporary American Reggae movement.
Groundation was founded at the Jazz program of California's Sonoma State University in the fall of 1998 by Harrison Stafford (guitar/lead vocals), Ryan Newman (bass) and Marcus Urani (b3 organ/keys/piano). It was at university that the core of the group honed their musicianship as well as their worldly outlook. Sonoma State was also where Stafford taught the first California state university accredited class on the History and Culture of Reggae Music.
This core was later joined in 2000 by San Francisco based Jazz trumpeter David Chachere and the North Bay’s Kelsey Howard on trombone. Original Groundation saxophonist Jason Robinson went on to become the head of the Jazz program at UC San Diego. Longtime drummer Paul Spina (Les Claypool's Flying Frog Brigade, Will Bernard’s Mother Bug) was replaced in 2008 with Reno-based Jazz/Fusion specialist Te Kanawa “Rufus” Haereiti.
Bay area percussionist Mingo Lewis Jr. (son of Santana and Return to Forever percussionist Mingo Lewis) brings to the group Latin and African infused rhythms, adding heady layers to Groundation’s already stout syncopations. Jamaicans Kerry-Ann Morgan and Kim Pommell, joining the group in 2006 and 2007 respectively, have helped take Groundation’s harmonies and live shows to new heights and are featured lead vocalists on the new studio album.
The name “Groundation” alludes to the decades old communal Rastafarian ceremony of “Grounation,” a ritual based on the meditative powers of music. Groundation, however, is an idea for today. Its goal: using the universally common vibration of music to get everyone on the same wavelength in order to forward positive consciousness and help bring about positive social evolution.
With the combination of Reggae music's commitment to an upheaval of our unjust social system and Groundation's livication of forwarding this message through a fresh, improvisation-based musical lens, a truly unique international movement has been created. Groundation is the biggest, most respected American Reggae band touring the world today...come join us and find out why.
If Trevor Hall’s 2009 self-titled Vanguard Records debut represented the young musician’s struggle with finding himself, his follow-up, Everything Everytime Everywhere is a courageous affirmation that he has become the man he had been seeking. The warm linearity of his prior work gives way to a mature artist hitting his stride, an image that persists throughout this body of work, from the easy reggae slide of the opening “The Return” and the anthemic “Brand New Day” straight through to the momentous closing track, “The Mountain.” Hall’s signature blend of catchy pop/rock songs infused with tasteful shades of reggae has made this diverse 24-year-old one of the most lauded up-and-coming musicians on the American music scene.
Beyond his years in sound and maturity, Trevor Hall has accomplished what great musicians do when presented with such circumstances: he created lasting art to inspire and comfort others. Everything Everytime Everywhere is the testament of an inner warrior trying to lift himself and those around him out of the everyday maladies that plague our lives. There are songs to fall asleep to, songs to wake up by, and songs to feel good about yourself. They encapsulate life and make you a part of Trevor Hall’s world, while his music becomes part of yours.