Local jazz band to perform at the House Cafe

Katie Finlon

Playing music with your idol is only a dream to most musicians—but it’s surreal to those performing at the House this weekend.

MathGames!, a band led by NIU guitar professor Fareed Haque, will be the headlining act 7 p.m. Friday at the House Cafe, 263 E. Lincoln Highway.

Haque is the former owner of the House Cafe and has played several shows with his “jazztronica”– futuristic-sounding jazz—band, which also features bassist Alex Austin, drummer Greg Fundis and Jesse Clayton on keyboard and electronics.

Mathews Tembo, Afro-pop artist and music graduate student, will play along with Haque on Friday, along with The Great Influence Machine and Winnie Page and the Dirt Band.

James Page, senior vocal performance major, said the band is “super psyched” to play with Haque and his band.

“It’s kind of interesting that, one thing you might not know even if you’re not into a lot of this music, it’s really surprising to think that NIU is the home of probably one of the most respected guitar players in the world,” said senior business translation major Patrick Buckley.

Page said the guitarists in Winnie Page and the Dirt Band have a huge amount of respect for Haque for the same reason.

“It takes a [lot] of talent and dedication and years of experience to be considered a virtuoso,” Page said. “That means you’re a master of performance—you can do anything, and [Haque] can. Amazing.”

Haque was awarded Talent Deserving Wider Recognition from Downbeat Magazine.

Haque has had such an impact on guitar players in this area, especially to those who may come see the show at the House, said junior economics major Nathaniel Rigg.

“It’s like we’re playing with our Yoda or something,” Page said. “We get to play with Yoda, man—we get to play with Fareed.”