Guitar great Fareed Haque, Mathew Tembo to perform benefit concert for Kenyan girls’ school

Fareed Haque

Fareed Haque

NIU School of Music professor and guitarist extraordinaire Fareed Haque and NIU School of Music graduate student and Afro-pop musician Mathew Tembo will perform a benefit concert for the Jane Adeny Memorial School for Girls in rural Kenya.

The concert takes place from noon to 3:30 p.m. Sunday, April 21, at the House Café, 263 E. Lincoln Hwy. in DeKalb.

Haque will perform with his Indian band, The Flat Earth Ensemble. Voted “Best World Guitarist” by Guitar Player Magazine in 2009, Haque is an internationally renowned guitar virtuoso and fearless innovator.

Tembo takes his music from the villages of his native Zambia, in central Africa, and creates his own genre by fusing Zambian rhythms with reggae and jazz. He has recorded seven CDs and has toured Africa, Europe and the United States.

Tickets for the event are $25 for adults and $14 for students, with free admission for children younger than 12. A light buffet of African and Indian dishes will be served. Tickets can be purchased at the door before the event or by calling Jill Sanderson at (815) 761-7464.

Mathew Tembo

Mathew Tembo

The concert beneficiary, the nonprofit Jane Adeny Memorial School in Muhoroni, Kenya, is dedicated to providing orphans and impoverished girls with the opportunity of a high school education.

The school is named in honor of Jane Adeny, the mother of Teresa Wasonga, an NIU professor in the Department of Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations in the College of Education.

Wasonga and her husband, Andrew Otieno, an NIU professor in the College of Engineering and Engineering Technology, are both natives of Kenya. They helped open the school, located on land that was provided by Wasonga’s mother.

Diana Swanson, a professor of Women’s Studies and English at NIU, has been working with Wasonga and Otieno to raise awareness and funding. Swanson currently serves as chair of the U.S.-based advisory board for the school.

“The mission of JAMS is to provide impoverished girls with an education ‘good enough for the richest, and open to the poorest,’ ” Swanson said. “We hope people will come out to the House Café on the 21st to enjoy some terrific music and good food, while at the same time raising funds for a very worthy cause.

“Folks can also rest assured that all of their contributions will go directly to the school,” Swanson added, “since the organizational work to publicize and raise funds for the school is done entirely by volunteers.”

All proceeds from the benefit concert will be used to buy textbooks for JAMS. For more information, see the JAMS website or Facebook page, or contact Swanson at dswanson@niu.edu.

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