Fareed Haque

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Fareed Haque
Fareed Haque at Green Mill Jazz Club Chicago.JPG
Fareed Haque at Green Mill Jazz Club, Chicago
Background information
Born 1963
Occupation(s) Musician, professor
Instruments Guitar
Labels Blue Note, Owl Studios
Associated acts Garaj Mahal, Flat Earth Ensemble
Website www.fareed.com

Fareed Haque is a modern guitarist in classical and jazz traditions.

Musical education[edit]

Born in 1963 to a Pakistani father and Chilean mother, Haque's extensive travels, with especially long stays in Spain, France, Iran, Pakistan, and Chile exposed him to different musics from 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 him 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. Haque'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.

Soon after his transfer to NU, Haque came to the attention of multi-instrumentalist Howard Levy and joined his latin-fusion group Chevere. Through Levy, Haque was introduced to Paquito D'Rivera and began a long and fruitful relationship with the Cuban National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master. Numerous world tours and recordings, including Manhattan Burn, Celebration, Havana Cafe, Tico Tico, and Live at the MCG were to follow. Especially notable is the classic and award-winning Reunion featuring Haque along with Arturo Sandoval, Danilo Perez, Giovanni Hidalgo, Mark Walker, and Davd Fink.

Through D'Rivera, Haque was brought to the attention of Sting, who had just begun his record label Pangaea. Sting invited Haque to join the label and released two recordings, Voices Rising and Manresa. Haque toured briefly with Sting, including appearances at the Montreaux Jazz Festival as well as NBC's Michelob Presents Sunday Night with David Sanborn, but his own career demands led Haque in other directions.

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 joined the faculty at Northern Illinois University as professor of jazz and classical guitar, where he continues to teach.

After a short stint at Warner Bros. recording Majestad (unreleased and featuring John Patitucci, Michael Landau, Russel Ferrante, Grazinha, Lenny Castro, and Carlos Vega), Bruce Lundvall signed Haque to the legendary Blue Note Records. While at Blue Note, Haque recorded three albums as a leader: Sacred Addiction, Opaque, and Deja Vu. During this period, he toured and recorded extensively with other artists. He recorded three CDs with Javon Jackson: A Look Within, For One Who Knows and Good People. In addition, sideman credits include tours and recordings with Joe Henderson, Herbie Mann, Bob James, Richie Cole, Joey Calderazzo, Kahil El Zabar and his Ethnic Heritage Ensemble and many Bluenote recordings for producer/arranger Bob Belden and featuring a host of Jazz Legends including Cassandra Wilson, Dianne Reeves, Joe Lovano, Paul Motian, and many many others. Numerous classical recitals as well as appearances with the Vermeer Quartet and many symphonies across the U.S. and abroad added to an incredible diversity of performances during this period.

Through Belden, Haque was asked to join forces with Joe Zawinul as part of his Zawinul Syndicate. The group proved to be one of Zawinul’s most eclectic. Included were percussionist and vocalist Arto Tuncboyacian, drummer Paco Sery, bassist Mathew Garrison along with Haque on acoustic and electric guitar.

In 2001, Haque’s interest in jam bands and the jam scene led him to co-found Garaj Mahal with Kai Eckhardt, Eric Levy, and Alan Hertz. This began 10 years of extensive touring across the U.S., performing more than 200 shows per year. Haque also joined saxophonist George Brooks’ group Summit, which also included Zakir Hussain and Steve Smith. Haque was voted Most Valuable Player at the 2002 High Sierra Music Festival. Haque and Garaj Mahal released three live CDs as well as five studio CDs: Mondo Garaj, Blueberry Cave, w00t, More Mr. Nice Guy, and Discovery, which featured Haque’s debut of the Moog Guitar.

In 2004, Haque premiered his Lahara Double Concerto for sitar, guitar and tabla with the Chicago Sinfonietta at Symphony Center in Chicago, under the baton of conductor Paul Freeman, featuring tabla virtuoso Ustad Zakir Hussain, to whom the work was dedicated.

In 2006, Haque was commissioned to compose a classical guitar concerto for the Fulcrum Point Ensemble. His Gamelan Concerto was premiered in May, 2006 at the Harris Theatre in Millennium Park, Chicago.

IN 2007, Garaj Mahal won an Independent Music Award.

Voted Best World Guitarist by Guitar Player Magazine in 2009, Haque's 2009 release Flat Planet was twice No. 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 various guest artists.

Recent notable performances include Haque performing and assistant directing the first Jazz Festival en la Patagonia 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 Guitaarfestival in The Netherlands, the Indy Jazz Fest, the Coleman Hawkins Jazz Fest, Jazz in June, the Lafayette and South Bend Jazz Festivals, the Sophia Jazz Fest in Bulgaria, and many others around the world.

In one of the greatest honors – and challenges – in a lifetime dedicated to music, Haque recently performed in a single both the Aranjuez and Villa-Lobos guitar concertos 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 often unorthodox teaching methods in a series of interactive video courses through TrueFire. Some of Haque's notable students include Neal Alger, Paul Moeller, Dave Miller, Goran Ivanovic, Nick Fryer, Mike Allemana, Papa Josh, Adam Roth, Terry Bartolotta, Casey Neilsen, Mauricio Rodriguez, Chad Wiggins, Greg Petito, Sam Smiley, Marco Vilareal, Phil Schurger, Alejandro Urzagaste, and many others.


  • Voices Rising (1988)
  • Manresa (1989)
  • Sacred Addiction (1993)
  • Opaque (1995)
  • Déjà Vu (1997) (a complete cover of the album by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
  • Fareed Haque Plays Classical Guitar (2000)
  • The Poet (2000)
  • Macedonian Blues (2001)
  • 7 Boats ( 2002)
  • Super Guitars with Frank Vignola (2004)
  • Cosmic Hug (2005)
  • Flat Planet with The Flat Earth Ensemble (2009)
  • Out of Nowhere featuring Billy Hart and George Mraz (2013)
  • Trance Hypothesis 2014
With Garaj Mahal
  • Live vols. I, II, III (2000)
  • Mondo Garaj (2001)
  • Blueberry Cave (2005)
  • w00t (2008)
  • More Mr. Nice Guy (2010)


External links[edit]