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  Home arrow Chicago arrow Chicago Musicians, Venues, Reviews and Calendar arrow Calendar arrow Fareed Haque's Flat Earth Ensemble CD Release Party for "Flat Planet" at the Green Mill, May 8-9
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 Monday, 30 November 2015
Fareed Haque's Flat Earth Ensemble CD Release Party for "Flat Planet" at the Green Mill, May 8-9 PDF Print
Written by Ronaldo Oregano   
Tuesday, 05 May 2009
Fareed Haque
Fareed Haque's Flat Earth Ensemble performs at the Green Mill in Chicago on Friday, May 8th and Saturday, May 9th in celbratioon of the release of Flat Planet on the Owl Studio label.  The Flat Earth Ensemble includes Fareed Haque on guitar, Indrajit Banerjee on sitar, Subrata Bhattacharya on percussion, Jim Fiest on tabla, Willerm Delisfort on keyboards, Alex Austin on bass, and Jason Smart on drums.

The fusion of jazz and Indian music has been explored for 50 years by jazz giants such as John Coltrane, Yusef Lateef and others who found the improvisational elements already in some Indian music to fit well with jazz. Free jazz pioneer Joe Harriott joined with Indian violinist and composer John Mayer to record seminal indo-jazz records with a double-quintet in the 1960s, and in the 1970's the Mahavishnu Orchestra led by fusion guitarist John McLaughlin. With his Flat Earth Ensemble, Fareed Haque updates and de-mystifies the genre by blending Hindustani folk rhythms with groove jazz. “Hindustani music swings!” says Fareed Haque,  “Punjabi folk music is to India what gospel is to America – funky, fun, danceable and spiritual".
Fareed Haque

Fareed Haque enjoys a career that spans the spectrum of musical styles. Moving easily between jazz and classical guitar, Fareed's versatility has created a demand for him with prominent jazz and classical artists including Paquito D'Rivera, Dave Holland, Sting, Joe Henderson, Joe Zawinul, Javon Jackson, Cassandra Wilson, Kurt Elling, Lester Bowie, Arturo Sandoval, Robert Walter, Karl Denson, Medeski, Martin and Wood, Kahil el Zabar, Defunckt, Ramsey Lewis, Nigel Kennedy, Edgar Meyer, Robert Conant, , Stephen Stubbs, Frank Bungarten, members of the Vermeer Quartet and many symphony orchestras in the U.S. and abroad. He has performed all of the major guitar concertos, is an active transcriber of baroque as well as South American music and has had numerous modern works dedicated to him. In 1989, Fareed joined the faculty of Northern Illinois University, where he currently holds an associate professorship in jazz and classical guitar studies.

ImageBorn in 1963 to Pakistani father and Chilean mother, extensive travels, especially long stays in Spain, France, Iran, Pakistan and Chile, exposed Haque to different musics from a very early age. This natural eclecticism has become the hallmark of Fareed's music. 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.

In 2001 Fareed co-founded the jam super-group Garaj Mahal, joined George Brooks' group Summit, featuring Zakir Hussein and Steve Smith and continues to record and tour with the Fareed Haque Group. More recently Fareed has become a staple of the 'Jamband' scene and was voted 'Most Valuable Player' at the 2002 High Sierra Music Festival.

In 2004 Fareed composed and performed his Lahara Double Concerto for Sitar/Guitar and Tabla. The work was premiered by The Chicago Sinfonietta, under the baton of maestro Paul Freeman, at Orchestra Hall in Chicago, featuring tabla virtuoso Ustad Zakir Hussain, to whom the work is dedicated. 2005 promises even more activity as a composer. Fareed has been commissioned to compose a classical guitar concerto for the Fulcrum Point Ensemble, to premiere May 06.

In 2007-8 Haque continued to tour, record and compose, extensively. He has recorded a new CD with legendary jazz organist Mel Rhyne in 2007, has appeared at numerous Guitar festivals with duo partner Goran Ivanovic, and will premiere his newest composition Pyramids for classical guitar for The Chicago Latin American Composers series at Preston Bradley Hall in Chicago. Haque continues to co-lead Garaj Mahal; the jam/jazz/world music group won an Independent Music Award in 07.

Fareed Haque's Flat Earth Ensemble has just released Flat Planet on the Owl Studio label. Fareed Haque has been experimenting with Indo-jazz for years. This ablum with the Flat Earth Ensemble is a culmination of years of work and provides a cohesive indo-jazz mix, combining the folk music of India with groove jazz, adding a touch of R&B and funk for flavor. The result is upbeat, exciting and satisfying. It will get you moving. The retro sounds of the Fender Rhodes and Hammond B3 blend surprisingly well with the sitar and tablas. The rhythms feel somewhat familiar, but with enough of the exotic to be intriguing.  

The Green Mill Jazz Club is located at 4802 N. Broadway Ave., Chicago, IL 60640, 773.878.5552. For more information visit

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