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Padma Vibhushan Pt. Jasraj at IG Park, Bhubaneswar.jpg
Jasraj at "Music in the Park" Indira Gandhi Park, Bhubaneswar on 18 December 2016
Background information
Birth nameSangeet Martand Pandit Jasraj
Born (1930-01-28) 28 January 1930 (age 90)
OriginPili Mandori, Hisar district, (now in Fatehabad),[1] British Punjab
GenresHindustani classical music
Years active1945–present

Sangeet Martand Pandit Jasraj (born 28 January 1930) is an Indian classical vocalist, belonging to the Mewati gharana (musical apprenticeship lineage).[2] His musical career has spanned more than 80 years and led to numerous major awards. His performances of classical and semi-classical vocals have become albums and film soundtracks. Jasraj has taught music in India, Canada and the US. Some of his students have in turn become notable musicians.

Early life[edit]

Sangeet Martand Jasraj was born on 28 January 1930 in Pili Mandori, a village in the Hisar district of Haryana,[note 1] in a middle-class Brahmin family to Sangeet Ratna Pandit Motiram, a classical singer.[1][3][4] Motiram died in 1934 when Jasraj was four, on the day he was to be appointed as the state musician in the court of Mir Osman Ali Khan.[5][6][7] Jasraj's elder brother, Pratap Narain, was also an accomplished musician and was the father of music composer duo Jatin-Lalit, singer-actress Sulakshana Pandit and actress Vijeta Pandit.[8]

Jasraj spent his youth in Hyderabad, and travelled often to Sanand in Gujarat to study music with musicians of the Mewati gharana.[9] Jasraj performed for Maharaj Jaywant Singh Waghela, the Thakur Sahib of Sanand who was deeply dedicated to classical music,[10] and received training from him.

In 1946, Jasraj moved to Calcutta, where he began singing classical music for radio.[9]

Personal life[edit]

In 1962 Jasraj married Madhura Shantaram, the daughter of film director V. Shantaram, whom he had first met in 1960 in Bombay.[11] They initially lived in Calcutta, moving to Bombay in 1963.[12][13] They have two children, a son, Shaarang Dev Pandit, and a daughter, Durga Jasraj. 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. She made a film, Sangeet Martand Pandit Jasraj in 2009[14] and directed her first Marathi film, Aai Tuza Ashirwad, in 2010, in which her husband and Lata Mangeshkar sang in Marathi.[15]


Jasraj at the Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya Poonam-35, Bhopal, in 2015


Jasraj was initiated into vocal music by his father, Pandit Motiram, and later trained as a tabla accompanist under his elder brother, Pandit Pratap Narayan.[16] He would frequently accompany his eldest brother, Pandit Maniram, in his solo vocal performances.[3] He credits the vocalist, Begum Akhtar, as inspiring him to take up classical music.[11]

Jasraj began training as a vocalist at the age of 14, after renouncing tabla in reaction to how accompanists were treated at the time.[17][18] He performed his first stage concert as a vocalist at the age of 22.[3] Before becoming a stage performer, Jasraj worked as a performing artist on radio for several years.[12]

He initially trained as a classical vocalist with his brother, Pandit Maniram, and later with Jaiwant Singh Waghela, a vocalist and beenkar.[9] and Gulam Kadar Khan of Mewat gharana. In addition, he trained under Swami Vallabhdas Damulji of the Agra gharana.[12]

Technique and style[edit]

Classical music[edit]

Although Jasraj belongs to the Mewati gharana, a school of music known for its traditional performances of khayals, Jasraj has sung khayals with some flexibility, adding elements of lighter styles, including the thumri, to khayal singing.[12] During the initial stages of his career he was criticised for incorporating elements from other schools of music, or gharanas, into his singing.[12] Music critic S. Kalidas has noted, however, that this borrowing of elements across gharanas has now become more commonly accepted.[12]

Jasraj created a novel form of jugalbandi called Jasrangi that is styled on the ancient system of moorchhana, between a male and a female vocalist, who each sing different ragas at the same time.[3][5][19] He is also known for presenting a variety of rare ragas including Abiri Todi and Patdeepaki.[20]

Semi-classical and popular music[edit]

In addition to performing classical music, Jasraj has worked to popularise semi-classical musical styles, such as Haveli Sangeet, which involves semi-classical performances in temples.[21] Additionally, he has also sung classical and semi-classical compositions for film soundtracks, such as the song, 'Vandana Karo,' composed in Raag Ahir Bhairav by the composer Vasant Desai, for the film Ladki Sahyadri Ki (1966),[21] a duet with vocalist Bhimsen Joshi for the soundtrack of the film Birbal My Brother (1975), and a ballad, Vaada Tumse Hai Vaada for a horror film titled 1920 (2008) directed by Vikram Bhatt.

In memory of his father, Jasraj organises a musical festival every year called the Pandit Motiram Pandit Maniram Sangeet Samaroh in Hyderabad, India.[5][6] The festival has been held annually since 1972.[9]

On 28 January 2017, the production house Navrasa Duende celebrated Jasraj's 87th birthday and 80 years of his service to music as a classical music concert with the title My Journey, an Intimate Evening with Pandit Jasraj at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi. He received a standing ovation.[22]


Jasraj has tutored several students who have gone on to perform as classical musicians including Saptarshi Chakraborthy, Sanjeev Abhyankar, Kala Ramnath, Tripti Mukherjee, Suman Ghosh, Shashank Subramanyam, Kavita Krishnamurthy, Anuradha Paudwal, Sadhana Sargam, Shankar Mahadevan, and Ramesh Narayan.[citation needed]

He is also the founder of schools for Indian classical music in Atlanta, Tampa, Vancouver, Toronto, New York, New Jersey, Pittsburgh, Mumbai, and Kerala.[23]

Pandit Jasraj Concert in New Delhi by Navrasa Duende

Awards and honors[edit]


Performances in film soundtracks[edit]


  1. ^ Pili Mandori is now within the Fatehabad district.


  1. ^ a b "Pandit Jasraj to perform in Bangalore". Times of India. Retrieved 19 October 2014.
  2. ^ Kulkarni, Pranav (15 December 2008). "Pandit Jasraj casts magic spell". The Indian Express. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d "Pandit Jasraj on his life-long love for music". Hindustan Times. 31 March 2017. Retrieved 5 August 2017.
  4. ^ "Fun Interview On Wishlist, Pandit Jasraj Talks Of Cricket, Deer And Krishna". NDTV.com. Retrieved 5 August 2017.
  5. ^ a b c A custom of culture The Hindu, 1 December 2004.
  6. ^ a b Jaisi, sadiq; Luther, Narendra (2004). The Nocturnal Court: The Life of a Prince of Hyderabad. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0195666052. Retrieved 24 May 2013.
  7. ^ Paul, Papri. "My Father Died Five Hours Before He Was To Be Announced The Royal Musician In Court Of Osman Ali Khan". epaperbeta.timesofindia.com. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  8. ^ Pawar, Yogesh (15 March 2019). "Pt Jasraj's 90-year musical journey". DNA India. Retrieved 19 August 2019.
  9. ^ a b c d "Pandit Jasraj takes a trip down the memory lane to relive his idyllic childhood spent in Hyderabad - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 5 August 2017.
  10. ^ {Cite interview|url=https://www.harmonyindia.org/people_posts/the-masters-voice/%7Ctitle=The Master's Voice|interviewer=Rajashree Balaram|date=1 November 2009|website=harmonyindia.org|url-status=live|archive-url=|archive-date=|access-date=}}
  11. ^ a b "Raag Jasraj, in the maestro's voice - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 5 August 2017.
  12. ^ a b c d e f "Pandit Jasraj looks back at a long, musical life on his 85th birthday". The Indian Express. 25 January 2015. Retrieved 5 August 2017.
  13. ^ Jai ho! Jasraj The Hindu, 8 October 2007.
  14. ^ Madhura Jasraj recounts life with the Maestro Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, 26 November 2009.
  15. ^ "Age no bar". Indian Express. 10 September 2010.
  16. ^ "Interview - Pt Jasraj: Music has universal appeal". www.narthaki.com (Interview). Interviewed by Vijai Shanker. 6 September 2012. Retrieved 14 August 2019.
  17. ^ "The Sun of Music". www.khabar.com (Interview). Interviewed by Parthiv N. Parekh. Retrieved 14 August 2019.
  18. ^ Thakur, Pradeep. Indian Music Masters of Our Times- Part 1. pp. 179–190. ISBN 9788190870566.
  19. ^ "Pandit Jasraj on his life-long love for music". www.hindustantimes.com. 31 March 2017. Retrieved 3 August 2017.
  20. ^ "Unforgettable". The Indian Express. 10 February 2012. Retrieved 5 August 2017.
  21. ^ a b Gaekwad, Manish. "Cinema classical: Singing for the gods, Pandit Jasraj took time out to enthral mortals". Scroll.in. Retrieved 5 August 2017.
  22. ^ The Statesman. "Pandit Jasraj turns 87, celebrates in the form of a concert". Retrieved 29 January 2017.
  23. ^ "Sangeetayan Promotes Indian Classical Music In Atlanta". WABE 90.1. 27 July 2017.
  24. ^ "Pandit Jasraj gets Sumitra award for lifetime dedicated to music". Mail Online. Retrieved 5 August 2017.
  25. ^ "Orchestral symphony is very interesting: Pandit Jasraj". Hindustan Times. 18 November 2014. Retrieved 22 August 2019.
  26. ^ "PressReader.com - Your favorite newspapers and magazines". www.pressreader.com. Retrieved 22 August 2019.
  27. ^ "Declaration of Sangeet Natak Akademi fellowships (Akademi Ratna) and Akademi Awards (Akademi Puraskar) for the year 2009" (Press release). Ministry of Culture. 16 February 2010. Retrieved 17 February 2010.
  28. ^ a b Experts, Disha (1 August 2017). India & World Panorama (General Knowledge) for Competitive Exams - SSC/ Banking/ Railways/ Defense/ Insurance. Disha Publications. ISBN 9789386146809.
  29. ^ a b "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 October 2015. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  30. ^ a b "Pandit Jasraj". sangeetnatak.gov.in. Retrieved 22 August 2019.
  31. ^ "Padma Awards Directory" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs (India). 21 May 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 September 2017. Retrieved 28 August 2019.
  32. ^ a b Dutta, Madhumita (2008). Let's Know Music and Musical Instruments of India. Star Publications. ISBN 9781905863297.
  33. ^ "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 300128 Panditjasraj (2006 VP32)" (2019-02-26 last obs.). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 26 September 2019.
  34. ^ "MPC/MPO/MPS Archive". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 26 September 2019.
  35. ^ SOUL FOOD: LIVE AT THE SAPTAK FESTIVAL, SENSE WORLD MUSIC, 2002, OCLC 85891441, retrieved 22 August 2019

Discography references[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Artist Profiles: Pandit Jasraj | World Music Central.org". Retrieved 22 August 2019.
  2. ^ "Devotionally Yours - Pandit Jasraj - Indian Express". archive.indianexpress.com. Retrieved 22 August 2019.
  3. ^ The glory of dawn: morning ragas (in Hindi), Times Music, 2005, OCLC 881488955, retrieved 22 August 2019
  4. ^ Invocation. (in Sanskrit), Water Lily Acoustic, 1993, OCLC 31731043, retrieved 22 August 2019
  5. ^ "Kanha - Padma Vibhushan Pandit Jasraj Indian Classical Music / Hindustani Classical". www.amazon.com. Retrieved 22 August 2019.
  6. ^ In concert: Vancouver, BC-August 10/96, World Media, 2000, OCLC 50315127, retrieved 22 August 2019
  7. ^ Jasraj (2005), Malhar a downpour of music (in Nepali), Times Music, OCLC 881489066, retrieved 22 August 2019
  8. ^ The meditative music of Pandit Jasraj. (in Hindi), Oriental Records, OCLC 369698317, retrieved 22 August 2019
  9. ^ Parampara: the Mewati tradition : 75th birthday celebrations (in Hindi), Times Music, India, 2005, OCLC 819532237, retrieved 22 August 2019
  10. ^ Shri Krishna Anuraag, Adhishri Tradings : Sony Music, 2000, OCLC 704701864, retrieved 22 August 2019
  11. ^ The spiritual journey, Times Music, India, 2005, OCLC 86082899, retrieved 22 August 2019
  12. ^ Gopalka, Kushal (29 December 2007). "Music Review | On an old note". www.livemint.com. Retrieved 22 August 2019.
  13. ^ Devi upasana, Virgin Records (India) Pvt Ltd. : Made available through hoopla, 2007, OCLC 1098875065, retrieved 22 August 2019
  14. ^ Miyan Tansen: as interpreted by Pandit Jasraj. (in Hindi), Times Music, 2006, OCLC 823747327, retrieved 22 August 2019
  15. ^ Tapasya. Volume 1 Volume 1, Navras, 2004, OCLC 662580006, retrieved 22 August 2019
  16. ^ Darbar (in Hindi), Sense World Music, 2003, OCLC 475643917, retrieved 22 August 2019
  17. ^ Maheshwara mantra., Oreade Music, 2002, OCLC 652433351, retrieved 22 August 2019
  18. ^ Haveli sangeet., Navras Records Ltd., 2001, OCLC 53891975, retrieved 22 August 2019
  19. ^ Inspiration, Navras Records, 2000, OCLC 45263860, retrieved 22 August 2019
  20. ^ Raga Triveni & Raga Multani. (in Sanskrit), Navras, 1994, OCLC 418882680, retrieved 22 August 2019
  21. ^ Ragas Bihagda & Gaud giri malhar live at the QEH August 18, 1993 (in Hindi), Navras, 18 August 1993, OCLC 873053602, retrieved 22 August 2019
  22. ^ Worship by music, Indische Tanzschule "Chhandra Dhara"., 1991, OCLC 27740578, retrieved 22 August 2019
  23. ^ Ornamental voice, (in Indic), Chhanda Dhara, 1989, OCLC 23685849, retrieved 22 August 2019
  24. ^ a b c Gaekwad, Manish. "Cinema classical: Singing for the gods, Pandit Jasraj took time out to enthral mortals". Scroll.in. Retrieved 22 August 2019.
  25. ^ Mermelstein, David (3 December 2012). "OSCARS: 'Life Of Pi' Score". Deadline. Retrieved 22 August 2019.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]