by Mohan Nadkarni
First Online: May 01, 2006
One of the acknowledged super-stars in the Hindustani gayaki, Pandit Jasraj has acquired an audience, both in India and abroad, that simply jostles its way into the concert hall any time he chooses to sing.
Born it Hissar, in Haryana State, in 1930, Pandit Jasraj is the youngest son of Pandit Motiram and grandson of Pandit Jyotiram, acclaimed as a pioneer of what is known as the Mewati gharana. He started out as a tabla-player but blossomed into a great vocalist under the guidance of Pandit Maniram, the eldest brother.
Endowed with a voice that is his fortune, Panditji has harnessed his talent and genius in shaping a style that is at once his own. His singing is marked by depth of feeling and sensitivity of temper-the kind of music that grips the ear and the soul alike. The charm of his expression marks him out as an artiste par excellence. His alaps are deeply communicative while his boltaans speak of his fecund imagination. To this he adds his playful sargams and sprightly taans. The impact is abiding.
Several titles and awards have come to Panditji at the state and national levels, besides a string of accolades from the erstwhile princely patrons. These include the title `"Sangeet Martand", Padma Bhushan and the Maharashtra Rajya Gourav Puraskar. Steeped in the tradition, he is a regular broadcaster and telecaster. He has earned tremendous acclaim by his performances both at home and abroad. He has toured western countries on his musical mission and has had his overseas audience under his spell.
Panditji has groomed a large number of protégés and several of them from the younger generation have already made the grade on the concert platform. Equally numerous are his indirect disciples, who have the maestro as their role model in their musical career.
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