Pandit Jasraj Biography: Birth, Death, Career, Awards, Recognitions and More
After the death of Pandit Jasraj, many celebrities expressed their grief including AR Rahman, Shabana Azmi, Javed Akhtar, Vishal Dadlani and Adnan Sami. The news of Jasraj's demise was shared by his family. The statement issued by the family reads, 'With profound grief, we inform that Sangeet Martand Pandit Jasraj Ji breathed his last this morning at 5.15 EST due to a cardiac arrest at his home in New Jersey, USA.'
Pandit Jasraj was an Indian classical vocalist and was associated with Mewati Gharana. In his 80 years of career, he gave several performances of classical and semi-classical vocals. He has taught music in and outside India such as Canada and the US. He died on August 17, 2020, at his home in New Jersy, USA, due to cardiac arrest.
Pandit Jasraj: Birth, Early life and Family
Pandit Jasraj was born on January 28, 1930, in a village Pili Mandori in Haryana to a notable classical singer Pandit Motiram. His father died on the day when he was to be appointed as the state musician in the court of Mir Osman Ali Khan. At the time of his father's death, Jasraj was 4 years old. Pandit Jasraj's elder brother Pandit Pratap Narayan and his eldest brother Pandit Maniram were musician and vocalist respectively.
Pandit Jasraj spent his initial days in Hyderabad and travelled to Gujarat to study music with other musicians of Mewati Gharana. He performed for the Thakur Sahib of Sanand, Maharaj Jaywant Singh Waghela. In the year 1946, he relocated to Calcutta (Kolkata) and began singing classical music for radio.
Pandit Jasraj: Personal Life
In 1960, Jasraj met Madhura Shantaram, the daughter of film director V. Shantaram, in Bombay and two years later in 1962, they both married. The couple had a son Shaarang Dev Pandit, and a daughter Durga Jasraj.
Pandit Jasraj: Career
Jasraj was taught vocal music by his father at a very early age and was later trained as a Tabla artist by his brother Pandit Pratap Narayan. Jasraj often accompanied his brother Maniram in his solo vocal performances. Begum Akhtar inspired Jasraj to pursue Indian classical music as his career.
Jasraj renounced Table and at a tender age of 14, started his training as a vocalist. At the age of 22, he gave a performance as a vocalist in the court of King Tribhuvan Bir Bikram Shah of Nepal in Kathmandu. This was his first stage performance in the year 1952.
Pandit Jasraj received training as a classical vocalist from his brother Pandit Maniram then from Jaiwant Singh Waghela who was a vocalist and a beenkar and lastly from Gulam Qadir Khan who was associated with Mewati Gharana. He was also trained under Swami Vallabhdas Damulji associated with Agra Gharana.
Pandit Jasraj: Awards and Recognitions
1- In 1975, he received Padma Shri, fourth highest civilian award in India.
2- In 1987, Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, highest Indian recognition to the practising artists.
3- In 1990, he received Padma Bhushan, third-highest civilian award in India.
4- In 2000, he was conferred Padma Vibhushan, second highest civilian award in India.
5- In 2008, he received Swathi Sangeetha Puraskaram, the highest honour for musicians given by Kerala State Government.
6- In 2010, he was awarded Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship, officially known as Sangeet Natak Akademi Ratna Sadasya, is an Indian honour for the performing arts presented by Sangeet Natak Akademi. It is "the most prestigious and rare honour" conferred by the Akademi and is restricted to 40 individuals at any given time.
7- In 2012, he received the Pu La Deshpande lifetime achievement award. P.L. Deshpande was a Marathi writer and a humorist from Maharashtra.
8- In 2013, he was awarded Bharat Ratna Bhimsen Joshi Classical Music Life Achievement Award. Pandit Bhimsen Gururaj Joshi was an Indian vocalist from Karnataka.
9- In 2014, he received Sumitra Charat Ram Award for Lifetime Achievement. Sumitra Charat Ram was a noted Indian arts patron.
10- In 2014, he received the Marwar Sangeet Ratna Award. The Sangeet Ratna Award is given by Government of Uttar Pradesh in the memory of Ustad Bismillah Khan.
11- In the year 2016, he was awarded Gangubai Hangal Lifetime Achievement Award instituted by Gangubai Hangal Sangeet Mahotsav Samiti.
12- In 2006, Asteroid 300128 was discovered by astronomers with the Mount Lemmon Survey and was named in his honour- Panditjasraj.
13- He was conferred Sangeet Kala Ratna, earlier known as Hamsa Award by the Government of Andhra Pradesh.
14- Master Dinanath Mangeshkar Award was a well known Marathi theatre actor, Natya Sangeet musician and a Hindustani classical vocalist.
15- Maharashtra Gaurav Puraskar.
Pandit Jasraj: Death
Pandit Jasraj died on August 17, 2020, at his home in New Jersy, USA, due to cardiac arrest.
Pandit Jasraj: Songs
1- Hamarao Dhan Radha
2- Shiv Shiv Mantra
3- Shree Sukt
4- Vaada Tumse Hain Vaada
5- Mangal Kaamna Matra
6- Om Namo Bhagwate
7- Shubh Laabh Mantra
8- Mahalakshmi Mahamantra
9- Shiv Dhun
10- Hare Krishna Hare Rama
11- Shri Radha- Krishna Stuti
12- Shri Krishna Mantra
13- Beej Mantra
14- Pradnya Vardan Mantra
15- Prakirna Mantra