Pandit Jasraj is a classical vocalist. He received Padma Vibhushan in 2000, Padma Bhushan in 1990 and Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1987. He was born on 28 January 1930 in Hisar district of Haryana and belongs to the Mewati Gharana, which comes under Classical Music of Hindustani. His father Motiram was a Classical vocalist and was to be assigned to the court of Osman Ali Khan when he died. Pt. Jasraj was four years of age at the time of his death. After his father’s death, the responsibility was on the shoulders of Maniram, his elder brother who trained him and to make out a living Pt. Jasraj started assisting his brother by playing Tabla.
He got training from several eminent personalities among the classical fraternity. Jaywant Singh Waghela and Ustad Gulam Kadar Khan of Mewati Gharana trained him well and later he got training from Swami Vallabhdas of Agra Gharana. When Pandit Jasraj had gone to meet Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, he asked Jasraj to be his disciple. Jasraj declined the offer and told him that he is already under the training of Maniram.
Pandit Jasraj has some of the great disciples who are
, Murli Dhar, Sanjeev Abhyankar, Pritam Bhattacharjee,
and Tripti Mukherjee. He hosts a festival in reverence of his father every year known as Pandit Motiram and Pandit Maniram Sangeet Samaroh, which is organized in Hyderabad, India for about 36 years now.
Pandit Jasraj married Madhura in the year 1962, whom he met on the sets of the movie ‘Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baje’. She has directed many plays, documentaries and ballets like Kaan Kahaani and Geet Govinda. They have a daughter named . She is a presenter and a TV anchor and a son named Shaarangdev Pandit. His nephews are music composers Jatin-Lalit.
and Vijeta Pandit are his nieces.
Pandit Jasraj never lends his voice for any Bollywood movie. He find them inappropriate but has been acclaimed throughout the nation for his extending four and a half octaves in his vocal range and acquired many awards for his gifted voice. He has done extensive research to create several compositions with the help of Baba Shyam Manohar Goswami Maharaj.
Another version of the Bio...
Pandit Jasraj, born on 28 th January, 1930, is an Indian classical vocalist. According to the genres of the Hindustani classical music, he belongs to the ‘Mewati’ gharana. He was born in Pili Mandori, a village in the Hisar district of the Punjab province in Haryana. He belongs to a middle class family. His father’s name is Motiram and he too was a classical singer. Unfortunately he died in 1934 when Jasraj was only four years old. Jasraj was inspired by his father and decided to move towards a life in vocal music. His older brother Maniram, who was also into vocal music trained his younger brother in the same. Later, to improve his vocal skills he trained under Maharaja Jaywant Singh Waghela and Ustad Gulam Kadar Khan who belonged to the Mewat Gharana. He was once asked by Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, a classical vocalist from the Kasur Patiala Gharana, to become his disciple. But Bade Gulam Ali Khan refused the proposal as Maniram was already his disciple. With a view to earn a livelihood, Jasraj accompanied Maniram as a Tabla player as at that period, Tabla players were not treated as minor artists. But at the age of 14, he left as he was not very happy with the scenario of playing table. He took a vow that he would not cut down his hair until and unless he learns to sing. Finally, Jasraj came up with his first performance, where he sang the raga, 'Kaunsi Kanada'. In order to create several compositions, he trained under Baba Shyam Manohar Goswami Maharaj, and did a tremendous research in Haveli Sangeet. He got so indulged into his work that he also created a novel form of ‘
’ and named it as ‘Jasrangi.’ He styled this novel in a way that included a female and a male vocalist who sing different ragas at the same time. This came to be popularly known as Jugalbandi as per the modern times. Jasraj organizes a festival for all the music lovers every year in the memory of his father. It is known by the name ‘Pandit Motiram Pandit Maniram Sangeet Samaroh’ and is held in the southern state of Hyderabad in India. Recently, on the 28 th January, 2017, he completed his eighty years of service to music. The production house, Navrasa Duend celebrated the completion of his eighty years into this field by dedicating a musical concert with the title ‘My Journey.’
His wife, , made a film about Pandit Jasraj in 2009, Sangeet Martand Pandit Jasraj. Aai Tuza Ashirwad is the Marathi film directed by Madhura, where Pandit crooned a song along with Lata Mageshkar. Pandit is among the very few people in India, to have honored with all the three highest civilian awards. His first civilian award, Padma Shri came in the year 1975, when he was 45. He had been running a lot of schools for classical music in India and abroad. In India, Kerala and Mumbai have his music schools and his international schools are operated in Atlanta, Vancouver, Tampa,
, Toronto, Pittsburgh and New Jersey. In 2006, an asteroid was named after him and it was published officially in 2019 by The Minor Planet Center.
Pandit Jasraj had been living in New Jersey with his family. He had a massive cardiac arrest and breathed his last on 17th August 2020. He was 90. With his magical voice, he attracted the Carnatic music enthusiasts for eight decades. Pandit Jasraj had been breathing the music till his last. He had been taking the online music classes even at his 90 and that proves his love for music.