Fareed Haque is a modern guitar virtuoso. Steeped in classical and jazz traditions, his unique command of the guitar and different musical styles inspire his musical ventures with tradition and fearless innovation.
Born in 1963 to a Pakistani father and Chilean mother, Fareed’s extensive travels exposed him to different musics from an early age. While this natural eclecticism has become a hallmark of Haque’s music, it was repeated visits to Von Freeman’s Chicago jam sessions that gave him a grounding in the Chicago blues and jazz traditions. 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.
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 NEA Jazz Master. Thru 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 where he released 2 critically acclaimed recordings. Haque toured with Sting, including notable appearances at The Montreux Jazz Festival and Sunday Night with David Sanborn.
Since 2011 Haque has returned to his first loves, jazz guitar and classical guitar. He’s been busy performing and recording with his trio featuring legendary B3 virtuoso Tony Monaco, his own trio and jazz quartet, as well as his larger world music group the Flat Earth Ensemble.
Recent releases include the critically acclaimed Out of Nowhere featuring drummer Billy Hart and bassist George Mraz, The Flat Earth Ensemble’s latest release Trance Hypothesis, and The Tony Monaco/Fareed Haque release Furry Slippers, reached the top 10 in Jazz Radio Airplay.
In addition, Fareed has performed at the Chicago, Detroit and Java Jazz festivals and was featured as part of the Made in Chicago Series performing with his numerous groups at Millennium Park’s Pritzker Pavilion in Chicago. He also performed and arranged numerous classical programs as 2013 artist-in-residence for The Chicago Latin Music Festival, was featured on WBEZ as well as WFMT’s Fiesta! radio programs, and has recorded his arrangement of Piazzolla’s 5 Tango Sensations, El Alevin by Eduardo Angulo Leo Brouwer’s Quintet for Guitar and String Quartet with the critically acclaimed Kaia String Quartet. Haque continues to tour and record extensively along with documenting his unique teaching methods in a series of best selling interactive video courses through TrueFire.
In 2016, Haque was invited to perform at the Indianapolis Jazz Festival Tribute to Wes Montgomery along with Peter Bernstein, Bobby Broom, Henry Johnson, Will Mathews, Russell Malone, Pat Martino and Dave Stryker. He was also a visiting scholar at Western Michigan University.
Projects included artistic directorship of numerous jazz festivals, performances with Tony Monaco, Paquito D’Rivera, Vijay Iyer, pundit Vikku Vinacrayam, long-anticipated reunion concerts with Garaj Mahal, concerts in India, a return to Java Jazz and concerts and teaching in China.
In 2017, Mr. Haque released The Bridge with virtuoso Chilean bassist Christian Galvez and renowned Indian percussionist Selva Ganesh. Haque has also rekindled his duo with Goran Ivanovic. Performances include Canadian Guitar Festival, Winters Jazz Fest NYC, Lotus Music Fest and many others.
Haque joined drum legend Billy Cobham as a member of his Crosswinds Ensemble featuring Haque on guitars, Randy Brecker, Trumpet and Paul Hansen on sax and bassoon. Extensive touring and recording are slated for 2019.
Haque’s release, NEW LATIN AMERICAN MUSIC FOR GUITAR AND STRING QUARTET, was picked by Howard Reich of the Chicago Tribune as one of the top releases of 2018. In addition, the release was chosen as Downbeat Magazine Editor’s Pick in 2018.
2019 was a busy year, as Haque retired from 30 years at Northern Illinois University to accommodate extended tours with Cobham, Goran Ivanovic and his own groups. Highlights include The Montreux Jazz Festival with Cobham, and appearances with his own groups at The Bluenote Beijing, Louisville and Minneapolis Guitar Festivals among others. Recordings with his own group and with Goran Ivanovic are under the legendary Delmark Label.
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 1989 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.
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 Bluenote records. While at Bluenote Haque recorded three albums as a leader: Sacred Addiction, Opaque and Déjà vu. Haque toured and recorded extensively with other artists including tours and 3 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 the Ethnic Heritage Ensemble and numerous Bluenote recordings for producer/arranger Bob Belden alongside Cassandra Wilson, Dianne Reeves, Joe Lovano, Paul Motian and many others. Numerous classical recitals as well as appearances with the Vermeer Quartet and many symphonies across the US and abroad added to an incredible diversity of performances during this period.
Through Belden, Haque was invited to join forces with Joe Zawinul as part of his Zawinul Syndicate. The group proved to be one of Joe’s best and most eclectic. Included were percussionist and vocalist Arto Tuncboyacian, drummer Paco Sery, bassist Mathew Garrison along with Haque on Guistar and Electric Guitar. A year of extensive touring brought Haque closer to his Jazz/Rock roots.
In 2001 Haque’s interest in jam bands and the jam scene led him to co-found the jam super-group Garaj Mahal featuring Kai Eckhardt, Eric Levy and Alan Hertz. This began 10 years of extensive touring across the US, performing in excess of 200 shows per year.Haque also joined George brooks’ group Summit, featuring Zakir Hussain and Steve Smith. Haque was voted ‘Most Valuable Player’ at the 2002 High Sierra Music Festival. Haque and Garaj Mahal released 3 Live CDs as well as 5 studio CDs: Mondo Garaj, Blueberry Cave, w00t, More Mr. Nice Guy and Discovery, which featured Haque’s debut of the Moog Guitar.
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, Garaj Mahal won an Independent Music Award. In 2009 Haque was voted ‘Best World Guitarist’ by Guitar Player Magazine’s Readers’ poll. His acclaimed 2009 release Flat Planet was twice #1 on the World Jazz Radio charts.
After 10 years of over 2000 dates with Garaj Mahal, Haque’s interest in electronic music and the Moog Guitar spurred him to leave Garaj Mahal and form Fareed Haque’s MathGames featuring bassist Alex Austin, drummer Greg Fundis.