Born On: January 28, 1930
Born In: Hisar, Haryana
Career: Classical singer
Pandit Jasraj is a renowned classical singer, celebrated for his rich, soulful, and sonorous voice, capable of singing all in 3½ octaves. The traditional music that India is known to us, today, has been vocalized by this legendary singer, thereby carving a niche and name for himself in the Indian classical industry. Amongst all the contributions that he has made to the music world, the most eminent one is his unique conception of a novel jugalbandi, based on the ancient system of moorchanas. The concept of singing at different scales and ragas is regarded as one of the most prominent contributions that Pandit Jasraj has given to Indian music. It was after this evolution that connoisseurs of music bestowed the art form with 'Jasrangi Jugalbandi' in his honor. His rich compositions are heard with much enthusiasm by music lovers all over the world.
Pandit Jasraj hails from a family which has been giving birth to exceptionally wonderful musicians. Born in Hisar, Haryana, Jasraj belongs to an orthodox Brahmin family. His father, Pandit Motiramji was again a distinguished classical exponent. True to his family tradition, Jasraj sings for the Mewati Gharana. He was just four when his father passed away, on the day when he was supposed to be appointed the state musician in the court of the Last Nizam. He received his initial music training from his father and later by his elder brother, Pandit Maniramji. Thereafter, he looked upon Swami Vallabhdas of the Agra Gharana for proper training in classical music. Since the family had lost the bread winner at an early age, his elder brother Maniramji accepted Jasraj as an accompanying tabla player. But tabla players were regarded as minor artists, similar to sarangi players, at that time. Since this was not what Jasraj had been looking for, he left home at the age of 14 and vowed not to cut his hair until he became a singer. He was even offered by Bade Ghulam Ali Khan to become his disciple, but declined to the context of him being a student of Maniramji.
True to the Mewati Gharana style of Khayal, Jasraj perfected his voice and vocals to fit into this music form. He also did extensive research in Haveli Sangeet. His greatest contribution to Indian classical music is his conception of a unique and novel jugal bandi, styled on the ancient system of moorchanas, between a male and a female vocalist, each singing in their respective scales and different ragas at the same time. It is often said that the great artists fail to pass on their craft to the next generation. However, Jasraj has many students and is ensuring longevity of his genre. Amongst his flag-bearing disciples, Sanjeev Abhyankar, Suman Ghosh, Tripti Mukherjee, and Kala Ramnath are well-known exponents of the Mewati Gharana. Sadhana Sargam, a well-known Bollywood singer, is one of his disciples. In memory of his late father, he organizes a musical festival every year called the Pandit Motiram Pandit Maniram Sangeet Samaroh in Hyderabad, India.
Contribution To Music
Jasraj can effortlessly sing across three and a half octaves and has contributed his unique conception of jugal bandi to Indian music. He has composed numerous beautiful 'bandish' and has also conducted extensive research in Haveli Sangeet. He performs on a wide range of rare raags, such as Gyankali, Abiri Todi, Dhanashree, Patdeepki, Purba, Bhavsakh, Devsakh, Gunji Kanada, and Charju Ki Malhar. His songs are soul stirring and can inspire anyone listening to them. He has carved a niche for himself in the field of classical music.
Pandit Jasraj got married to Madhura, daughter of the renowned filmmaker V. Shataram in 1962. Both came across each other in 1952 on the sets of the film 'Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baje'. The couple has a son, Shaarangdev Pandit, and a daughter, Durga Jasraj, who has earned name as a television anchor and presenter.
Awards & Accolades
Padma Vibhushan Award, 2000
Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, 1987
Sangeet Kala Ratna
Master Dinanath Mangeshkar Award
Lata Mangeshkar Puraskar
Maharashtra Gaurav Puraskar
Swathi Sangeetha Puraskaram, 2008
Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship, 2010
Marwar Sangeet Ratna Award
1930: Born on January 28 in Hisar, Haryana
1933: introduced to vocal music by his father, Pandit Motiramji
1944: Left home to learn music
1962: Married Madhura
1987: Bestowed upon with Sangeet Natak Akademi Award
2000: Received Padma Vibhushan Award
2008: Honored with Swathi Sangeetha Puraskaram.