New Delhi: Pandit Jasraj, the doyen of Indian classical music, passed away at the age of 90 in New Jersey, the US, on Monday.
“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 read.
The renowned vocalist, who has a planet named after him — Panditjasraj — placed between Mars and Jupiter, was a recipient of the highest civilian honours like Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri.
His death was condoled by dignitaries such as Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Ram Nath Kovind, among many other personalities from the world of music.
Born in 1930 in Haryana, the celebrated classical singer presented the Mewati Gharana to the global music connoisseur. With a career spanning 80 years, Pandit Jasraj’s oeuvre ranged from the world stage to Indian film music.
His rendition of “Raga Ahir Bhairav” was used in Ang Lee’s global hit of 2012, “Life Of Pi”, and he also sang “Vandana karo” in the 1966 film “Ladki Sahyadri Ki”. Pandit Jasraj’s other soundtrack contributions are his Jugalbandi with Bhimsen Joshi in the 1973 film, “Birbal My Brother”, and “Vaada tumse hai” in the 2008 horror film, “1920”.
In an interview earlier this year, Pandit Jasraj had said that: “I don’t feel that my relationship with music is of only this lifetime. The student in me has always been a constant and active part of my musical journey and has kept me always hungry to learn.
“I feel fortunate to belong to a generation and witness very exciting times in classical music. Right from the pre-Independence era, where Maharajas were the biggest patrons of classical music and being a court musician was a privilege, to the 1950s and 1960s when All India Radio played a pivotal role in shaping one’s career graph, to the importance of recording labels which carefully curated the talent, followed by travelling worldwide to perform for varied audiences who found our classical music soulful and attractive. And from the rise of mass media in India with the growth of television to the present day modern platforms of social media and digital world which have brought music lovers much closer to their favourite musicians.”