GRASS VALLEY, CA, March 24, 2023 – The Center for the Arts is pleased to present Groundation in the Marisa Funk Theater on April 16, 2023. 

More than two decades into a storied career, Groundation has helped define American roots reggae, while building a large and loyal following in Europe, South America, and the US where they have been a consistent major headliner and festival attraction for the last fifteen years.


Groundation formed in 1998 when vocalist/guitarist Harrison 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 two 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 began 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, and together they built a catalog of genre-bending, deep, progressive roots reggae music. After more than two decades and nine studio albums, Groundation helped define American roots reggae and is back with a 10th studio album One Rock. This new opus perpetuates the legend of the band with a sound and spirit pushed even further. Stafford leads the band’s current line-up through songs with intricate arrangements and soulful melodies and lyrics that deal with the human condition, spirit, and state of the world. 

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.

Groundation has performed in over 35 countries and on five continents. They have had a number of personnel changes over the years, but with Harrison Stafford at the helm, Groundation continues to bring reggae into new worlds. Their album, The Next Generation (2018) opens with a full jazz big band (featuring 12 horn players). This album won’s “Best Roots Reggae Album of 2018,” an award that was voted on by over 16,000 media members, musicians, producers, and fans. In 2022, Groundation vigorously toured Brazil, European, California and Hawaii in support of the new album, continuing their journey to spread their words and music to the four corners of the world. In 2023, the band has prepared a brand new show to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the release of their album Hebron Gate, playing the reggae masterpiece in its entirety. 

Groundation’s stop at The Center for the Arts on April 16 promises to be a fantastic night of celebrating positive energy and a love for all people – don’t miss it.

WHAT: Groundation

WHERE: The Center for the Arts | 314 West Main Street, Grass Valley, CA 95945

WHEN: April 16, 2023 | Doors 6:30 pm Show 7:30 pm

TICKETS: $45 |

WEBSITE & INFO: or (530) 274-8384

Since 2000, The Center for the Arts, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts organization, has grown into a leading presenter of music, dance, theater, comedy, literary and visual art, and family programming, offering more than 150 events per year from its location in downtown Grass Valley. The Center recently completed a major renovation of its multiuse, 21,000-square-foot facility in downtown Grass Valley, making it a premier performing arts destination. The venue includes the Main Stage, which accommodates up to 492 guests in configurable theater seats and up to 700 patrons for dance shows, and a 90-seat studio theater.