Sangeet Martand Padma Vibhushan Pandit Jasraj is one of the most iconic classical Indian musicians in recent times. In a recent function to commemorate the birth centenary of Sumitra Charat Ram, Pandit Jasraj was awarded the Sumitra Lifetime Achievement Award. Sumitra Charat Ram was known as one of the first patrons of Indian Performing Arts, best known for establishing the Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra. The award was given to Pandit Jasraj for his long term contribution to music.
Pandit Jasraj, a vocalist par excellence, was inducted into Indian Classical Singing by his father before he turned four. He trained in the Mewati Gharana style of singing and developed a deep devotion towards Indian Classical Music in all forms. Pandit Jasraj did years of extensive research in ‘Haveli Sangeet’ under the guidance of Baba Shyam Manohar Goswami Maharaj and came up with numerous bandish (compositions). Later in his career, Pandit Jasraj created a novel form of jugalbandi known as ‘Jasrangi,’ which involves a male and a female vocalist singing different ragas at the same time. He has also presented about nine different rare ragas during his lifetime.
Pandit Jasraj’s devotion to Indian Classical Music has roots in his family heritage, which has been passed on from generation to generation. In keeping with the custom, his daughter Durga Jasraj has made significant contributions to the field of Indian Classical Music, despite her parallel career as a television presenter. In 1999, inspired heavily by her father, Durga Jasraj founded Art And Artistes, which is jointly run by her and Neeraj Jaitly for the past 5 years. The organization has been working hard to bring Indian Classical Music to the modern day masses and is a one stop spot for all genres of Indian music. Art And Artistes has created and produced Musical properties like Tiranga, Panchtatva, Idea Jalsa, among others, featuring more than 10,000 Musicians across more than 100 genres of Indian Music. Additionally, Durga Jasraj’s daughter Avni Jasraj leads the digital division of the company. Together they have created one of the most iconic web series based on Indian Classical Music called ‘Inner Voice’.
Pandit Jasraj’s other relatives are also well-known musicians who are following in his footsteps. Music composers Jatin-Lalit are Jasraj’s nephews, and Sulakshana Pandit and Vijayata Pandit [known for “Love Story” opposite Kumar Gaurav] are his nieces. His grand-nieces, Shraddha and Shweta Pandit, are also well-known Bollywood playback singers and performers.
Congratulations to Pandit Jasraj on receiving the honor!