Indian Classical Music today, is one of the greatest gifts of India to the world. And a blessed few, much beyond their fame and fortune, have devoted their lives to bolster this claim far and wide.While renowned instrumentalists have done it through their chosen instruments, like the Sitar and the Sarod, Pandit Jasraj has done it through that one
Pandit Jasraj’s achievements are beyond compare more so because vocal music is the most intimate and direct medium according to India’s musical treatise and tradition. And almost beyond belief is also the fact that he has carved out his monumental global following without depriving his many million domestic admirers. He has been passionately loyal to his soil, while his music has scaled ethereal heights all over the planet. He has single-handedly paved the way for Indian vocal classical music to resonate across the world.
Born in a family of outstanding musicians over four generations, Pandit Jasraj was initiated into music by his revered father, Pandit Motiram, until the age of three, when his father passed away. Thereafter he underwent intensive tutelage under his elder brother and Guru, Pandit Maniram. Later, along his turbulent path of hard-earned maturity, he was guided by his spiritual Guru Maharaja Jaiwant Singh.
Unique Musical Attributes
Blessed with a soulful and sonorous voice, which traverses masterfully over all four and a half octaves, Jasraj’s vocalizing is characterized by a harmonious blend of the classic and opulent elements projecting traditional music as an intense spiritual expression, at once chaste and yet densely coloured. This gives his music a unique and sublime emotional quality, reaching out to the very soul of the listener.
Perfect diction, clarity in sur (musical notes), and gayaki (creative musical progression), command in all aspects of laya and rhythm, depth of composition and an unmistakable interplay between notes and words to evoke the desired mood and emotion, are the hallmark of Panditji’s music. This sensitivity, added to the pure classical approach, has given his singing a lyrical quality, the quintessential of the Mewati tradition of singing.
Pandit Jasraj the Guru….Mentor
As a mentor and guru, Pandit Jasraj has already presented to the world an impressive number of illustrious disciples whom he has nurtured and trained in accordance with India’s rich tradition of the Guru-Shisya Parampara, the ideal teacher-student relationship. Today, his frontrunner disciples too are zealously carrying the flag of Indian music to every corner of the world.
Innovations and Contributions
• Although every performance of Pandit Jasraj is soaked in originality, he is the acclaimed originator of a unique concept that will go down in history as one of his greatest contributions to Indian music! Aptly named Jasrangi, it is a novel Jugalbandi(duet) that is a sensuous fusion of the Yin and the Yang, the male and the female principles. It is a harmonious blend, wherein a male and a female singer, each with individual accompaniments, sing different ragas in their own respective scales, interweaving them into a wondrous whole.
• Never content with the tried and the tested, Pandit Jasraj has not only created over a three hundred bandishes (compositions) himself, but has also traversed the uncharted path of singing ancient Sanskrit verses of great saint-poets in pure Indian classical style. This has helped create a major spiritual revolution in classical music. Today, he sings these Sanskrit compositions to rapt audiences with divine inspiration.
• His deep research in Haveli Sangeet (Pushti Marg Sangeet) has given us some rare and inspired compositions in this devotional genre.
Divine Power of Music
• Although Pandit Jasraj will never claim himself to be greater than his music, witnesses often discuss legendary incidents that have taken the power of his music to utterly incredible levels. His ardent rendition of
• Raag Dhulia Malhar has brought unseasonal showers upon drought-hit soil… His Raag Todi has entranced a deer who came bounding amid a stunned human audience at Sankat Mochan Hanuman Mandir -Varanasi in 1987.