Hindustani music swings! says Fareed Haque, leader of the Flat Earth Ensemble. A jazz and classical guitar virtuoso, Haque's latest project is the culmination of years of study and innovation, a blending of Hindustani folk rhythms and groove jazz. All my life Ive loved the rhythms of South Asian folk music the folk music from northwestern India and Pakistan, that is the basis for much of what is today called Bollywood film music, Qawwali, Bhangra. All of these are styles of South Asian music that GROOVE with hypnotic, high energy, danceable rhythms...much the same as the African-American gospel that is the basis of so much popular American music. In South Asia, as on the South Side of Chicago, charismatic music music that builds to an emotional and many would say spiritual climax is at the core of traditional culture and the basis for much in popular culture...simply put Punjabi folk music is to India what gospel is to America funky, fun, danceable and spiritual.
"Its a perfect match...I remember listening to Hindustani film and folk music as a child [Haque's lineage is Pakistani and Chilean], and the way that music shuffles is right up there with most jazz shuffles... I remember going to see the Sabri Brothers, a Qawwali group from Pakistan, and the audience was losing it! Rolling on the stage, going into the same kind of trance that once might see at a gospel revival in Mississippi."