Pandit Jasraj, Indian classical vocalist and Padma Vibhushan awardee, passes away at 90

In a career spanning eight decades, Pandit Jasraj has been awarded numerous accolades and titles. He is credited to bring to the fore the unique and distinct style of the Mewati gharana to the world of Hindustani classical music.

FP Staff August 17, 2020 22:19:36 IST
Pandit Jasraj, Indian classical vocalist and Padma Vibhushan awardee, passes away at 90

Legendary Hindustani classical vocalist and Padma Vibhushan awardee Pandit Jasraj passed away on Monday in New Jersey, reports Press Trust of India after receiving a confirmation from his daughter Durga Jasraj.

“Bapuji is no more,” Durga, also a musician, told the Press Trust of India over the phone from Mumbai.

Jasraj, one of the most illustrious doyens of the Mewati Gharana, was in the US when the coronavirus-led lockdown happened and decided to stay back in that country.

“With profound grief, we inform that Sangeet Martand Pandit Jasraj ji breathed his last this morning at 5.15 EST due to a cardiac arrest at his home in New Jersey, USA,” a statement issued by his family said.

“May Lord Krishna welcome him lovingly through the doors of heaven, where Pandit ji will now sing Om Namo Bhagwate Vasudevaya exclusively just for his beloved Lord. We pray that his soul rests in eternal musical peace. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers, Pandit Jasraj ji’s family, and the students of Mewati Gharana," it said.

Pandit Jasraj Indian classical vocalist and Padma Vibhushan awardee passes away at 90

In a career spanning eight decades, Pt Jasraj has been awarded numerous accolades and titles. He is credited to bring to the fore the unique distinct style of the Mewati gharana to the world of Hindustani classical music.

Apart from being a legend in his own right, Jasraj also mentored several other exponents of the Mewati gharana, including cultural historian Mukund Lath, who passed away earlier this month. It is due to Jasraj's efforts, along with his apprentices such as Lath, that the Mewati gharana has become one of the most recognisable genres of Hindustani classical music. Jasraj's other renowned students include Saptarshi Chakraborty, Sanjeev Abhyankar, violinist Kala Ramnath, flautist Shashank Subramanyam, and Bollywood playback singers Anuradha Paudwal and Sadhana Sargam among many others.

Earlier in January, when Jasraj turned 90, he told the Press Trust of India that his first-ever concert was in front of Nepal King Tribhuwan Bir Bikram Shah in 1952. "The king told his men to announce that he has awarded me 5,000 gold coins. I was shocked, I couldn't believe it. I was sweating and I almost fainted, I was maybe 22-year-old then," he said.

(With inputs from Press Trust of India)

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