A modern guitar virtuoso and friend of the proGram, Fareed Haque, is steeped in classical & jazz traditions. His unique command of the guitar and different musical styles inspire his musical ventures with tradition & fearless innovation. Fareed’s been busy performing & 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 ands so many other projects that slide under the radar. In 2009 he 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, his interest in electronic music and the Moog Guitar spurred him to leave Garaj Mahal and form Fareed Haque’s MathGames featuring bassist, Alex Austin, and drummer, Greg Fundis. “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. 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. Some more recent projects include 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, concerts, and teaching in China. 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 included The Montreux Jazz Festival with Cobham, and appearances with his own groups at The Bluenote Beijing, Louisville, & Minneapolis Guitar Festivals, among others. New recordings with his own group and with Goran Ivanovic are scheduled to release soon under the legendary Delmark Label. Fareed continues to record and tour extensively along with documenting his unique teaching methods in a series of best selling interactive video courses through TrueFire. It goes on! Here we are in 2023 after some weird times, and Fareed Haque and his group have something new and exciting for us to bring with us throughout of journey. CASSEUS!.
I had the chance to catch up with Fareed ahead of the June 30th show at The North Street Cabaret. We got into the scene that is going to unfold as we join in toGether to share in this special vinyl record release party and show for this exiting new release – CASSEUS!. Just listening to Fareed describe the liner notes and foreword as well as the art of the album cover and all that physical holdings stuff was thrilling. We spoke about how he got to know Frantz Casseus‘ music through Marc Ribot, who studied under Frantz Casseus and also has a project of his music. Mr. Casseus, perhaps best known for work he did with the legend, Harry Belafonte, like ‘Day-O’ & ‘Merci Bon Dieu’, certainly had his own feel for his sounds. Fareed gleefully talks about how soaking this music in took his mind to just how he and the group could become the orchestra behind a new sound of this music and some of the feelings it created within him. There is no way to talk about this album (and the original music) without mentioning the rhythms and grooves and just how that has already been digested in a live setting at Millennium Park in Chicago, and how people were able to get their ‘thang’ on with what could be considered more of cerebral music(?). It was fascinating to hear mention of Fareed’s style and guitars – a little about his kids hearing the Haitian grooves for the first time and how they responded – that personal touch is what makes your radio a true friend. Speaking of that, we did make mention of our mutual pal UGOCHI, who makes an appearance on Casseus on the beautiful & challenging track, ‘Fi Nan Bois’, which aptly closes the album out. She is a member of a group Fareed leads known as Chicago Immigrant Orchestra. Hope to see you on the 30th for some body opening music to free your minds and spirt. (oh and there will be vinyl to get autographed, too)