Fareed Haque is a modern guitar virtuoso as well as a great friend of GSI. Steeped in classical and jazz traditions, his unique command of the guitar and different styles inspire his musical ventures with tradition and fearless innovation. Continue on to read Haque’s story about a life as both a musician and educator.
Born in 1963 to a Pakistani father and Chilean mother, Fareed’s extensive travels, with especially long stays in Spain, France, Iran, Pakistan, and Chile exposed him to different music styles at a very early age. This natural eclecticism has become the hallmark of Haque’s music, but it was repeated visits to Von Freeman’s Chicago jam sessions that gave Haque the grounding in the Chicago blues and jazz tradition. The 1981 recipient of North Texas State University’s Jazz Guitar Scholarship, Haque spent a year studying with renowned jazz guitarist and pedagogue Jack Peterson. Fareed’s growing interest in the classical guitar led him to transfer to Northwestern University, where he completed his studies in classical guitar under David Buch, John Holmquist and Anne Waller.
Haque has been featured on WTTW’s ArtBeat and Chicago Tonight, Ben Sidran’s New visions, Michelob Presents Sunday Night with David Sanborn on NBC, his own Lonesome Pines special for PBS, and on BET cable jazz channel. Fareed has twice been selected as ‘Talent Deserving Wider Recognition’ in Downbeat Magazine. In 1988 Haque also joined the faculty at Northern Illinois University as professor of jazz and classical Guitar. He continues to teach at NIU to this day.
In 2004, Fareed premiered his Lahara Double Concerto for sitar/guitar and tabla with The Chicago Sinfonietta at Symphony Center in Chicago, under the baton of maestro Paul Freeman, featuring tabla virtuoso Ustad Zakir Hussain, to whom the work is dedicated. In 2006, Fareed was commissioned to compose a classical guitar concerto for the Fulcrum Point Ensemble. His ‘Gamelan Concerto’ was premiered in May of ’06 at The Harris theatre in Millenium Park. In 2007, Fareed’s group Garaj Mahal won an Independent Music Award, and in 2009 he was voted ‘Best World Guitarist’ by Guitar Player Magazine. His acclaimed 2009 release Flat Planet was twice #1 on the World Jazz Radio charts.
After 10 years of over 200 dates a year with Garaj Mahal, Haque’s interest in electronic music and the Moog Guitar spurred him to leave Garaj Mahal and form his latest group Fareed Haque’s MathGames featuring bassist Alex Austin, drummer Greg Fundis, keyboardist Jesse Clayton and other guests.
Recent notable performances include Haque performing and assistant-directing the first Jazz Festival en la Patagonia, a performance in Frutillar, Chile under his old mentor and friend Paquito D’Rivera, and appearances with his own groups at JavaJazz, The Chicago Jazz Festival, The Twents Guitar Festival, The Indy Jazz Fest, Coleman Hawkins Jazz Fest, Jazz in June, The Lafayette and South Bend Jazz Festivals, Sophia Jazz Fest, Bulgaria and many others around the world.
In one of the greatest honors – and challenges – in a lifetime dedicated to music, Haque recently performed BOTH the Aranjuez and Villa-lobos guitar concertos (in one concert!) with The Chicago Philharmonic, under the baton of Lucia Matos at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall.
Haque continues to tour and record extensively along with documenting his unique and often unorthodox teaching methods in a series of interactive video courses through TrueFire.
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