Fareed Haque Interview

(Re-edited and aired June 30, 2011, Originally aired on June 25, 2009)      

Jazz guitarist Fareed Haque continues the East-West musical fusion pioneered by John McLaughlin, giving it a unique and fresh twist for our times. Haque's Pakistani heritage connects him to the phrasing and beat structure of South Asian music, while his deep love of '60s soul-jazz Grant Green in particular gives his guitar playing a swinging, bluesy feel. Haque is also a masterful classical guitarist, so his perspective of the fretboard and knowledge of acoustic and electric tones is vast, unrivaled by any contemporary player.

Haque has recorded and performed with many jazz and rock musicians, including Medeski, Martin and Wood, Sting, Joe Henderson, Paquito D'Rivera and loop-guru Keller K-Dub Williams. In addition to performing with orchestral and jazz ensembles, Haque also gigs and records with his jam band, Garaj Mahal. Haque is a professor of Jazz and Classical Guitar Studies at Northern Illinois University, and Guitar Player readers voted Haque "Best World Guitarist" in the magazine's 2009 poll.

In our exclusive interview, Haque describes recording Flat Planet, an album he cut with his world-fusion band The Flat Earth Ensemble. We'll listen to cuts from Flat Planet and hear about the challenges inherent in merging the swinging grooves of American jazz with the propulsive thrust of tabla-driven rhythms from India and Pakistan.