Fareed Haque and MathGames

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, with especially long stays in Spain, France, Iron, Pakistan, and Chile exposed Haque 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 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.

Soon after his transfer to NU, Haque came to the attention of multi-instrumentalist Howard Levy and joined his latin-fusion group Chevere. Thru Levy Haque was introduced to Paquito D”Rivera and began a long and fruitful relationship with the Cuban NEA Jazz Master. Numerous world tours and recordings including Manhattan Burn, Celebration, Havana Cafe, Tico Tico, 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.

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 and he released 2 critically acclaimed recordings Voices Rising and Manresa. Haque toured briefly with Sting, including notable appearances at The Montreux 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 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 ( the still-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 Deja Vu and 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 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 US and abroad added to an incredible diversity of performances during this period.

Thru Belden Haque recieved the great honor of being asked to join forces with the legendary 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.

Voted ‘Best World Guitarist’ by Guitar Player Magazine in 2009, 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; Frutillar, Chile under his old mentor and friend Paquito D’Rivera, and appearances with his own groups at JavaJazz, The Chicago Jazz Jestival, 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.