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Our best wishes to Pandit Jasraj (born 28 Jan 1930) of Mewati Gharana

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on January 28, 2013

Pandit Jasraj - II

(Pandit Jasraj by pangalactic gargleblaster and the heart of gold – Source: Flickr.com)

Pandit Jasraj (Hindi: पण्डित जसराज; born 28 January 1930) is an Indian classical vocalist. He belongs to the Mewati gharana of Hindustani classical music.

Jasraj was born in HisarHaryana in an orthodox Brahmin family to Motiram, a classical singer. His family performed the Mewati gharana style. Motiram died when Jasraj was four, on the day he was to be appointed as the state musician in the court of Osman Ali Khan.

Jasraj was initiated into vocal music by his father. He also received training from his elder brother, Maniram, and later from Maharaja Jaywant Singhji Waghela. In addition, he trained under Swami Vallabhdas of the Agra Gharana. In 1960, when Jasraj went to visit Bade Ghulam Ali Khan in hospital, Khan asked him to become his disciple, but Jasraj declined saying that he could not accept Khan’s tutelage since he was already Maniram’s disciple.

As a means of livelihood, Maniram took Jasraj as an accompanying tabla player. However, at the time, likesarangi players, tabla players were considered minor artists. At the age of 14, unhappy with his treatment as an accompanying artist, Jasraj left and vowed not to cut his hair until he learned to sing. He finally cut his hair after garnering his first AIR Radio performance, where he sang Raga Kaunsi Kanada (a combination of Malkauns and Darbari Kanada).

Jasraj’s vocal range extends three-and-a-half octaves and uses precise diction, a trademark of the Mewati gharana‘s style of khayal. He has also done extensive research in Haveli Sangeet under Baba Shyam Manohar Goswami Maharaj to create numerous innovative bandish (composition).

Jasraj created a novel form of jugalbandi, styled on the ancient system of Moorchana, between a male and a female vocalist, who each sing different ragas at the same time. In his honor, this legendary jugalbandi is known as The Jasrangi. This name was coined by music connoisseurs in Pune.

Jasraj has many students, including Rattan Mohan SharmaSanjeev AbhyankarRamesh NarayanSuman GhoshTripti Mukherjee, Radharaman Kirtane, Girish Wazalwar, Chandrashekhar Swamy, Hemang Mehta,Pritam Bhattacharjee, Gargi Siddhant and Kala RamnathSadhana Sargam, a Bollywood singer, Ankita Joshi, Prasad Dusane is one of his disciples.

In memory of his father, Jasraj organises a musical festival every year called the Pandit Motiram Pandit Maniram Sangeet Samaroh in HyderabadIndia. It ran for 36 years as of 2008. Jasraj participated at theSawai Gandharva Music Festival. He is also recognized as a master of the Bhairav family of Raags, along with the legendary Raags Darbari KanadaMiya ki Malhar, and Jog. He is also known for presenting a wide variety of Rare Raags including Gyankali, Abiri Todi, Dhanashree, Patdeepki, Purba, Bhavsakh, Devsakh, Gunji Kanada and Charju Ki Malhar.

In 1962, Jasraj married Madhura, the daughter of film director V. Shantaram, who he had first met in 1955 during the filming of Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baje. After their marriage the couple lived in Kolkata for some time. They have a son, Shaarangdev Pandit, and a daughter, Durga Jasraj, a television anchor and presenter. Madhura has directed documentaries and children’s plays, and directed and produced ballets, Geeta-Govinda,Kaan Kahaani and Surdas, and the TV series, Faster Phene. Durga made a film, Sangeet Martand Pandit Jasraj in 2009 and directed her first Marathi filmAai Tuzha Aashirwad, in 2010, in which her husband and Lata Mangeshkar sang in Marathi.

Music composers Jatin-Lalit are Jasraj’s nephews, and Sulakshana Pandit is his niece.

(Source: 01/2013 – Wikipedia.org)

Pandit Jasraj talking about Ragas (part 1 and 2)…

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