Pandit Jasraj

Pandit Jasraj

Musical Artist
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Pandit Jasraj

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Pandit Jasraj (born 28 January 1930) is an Indian classical vocalist. He is the foremost exponent of the Mewati Gharana of Hindustani classical music.

Early life

Jasraj was born in Hisar, Haryana in an orthodox brahmin family to Pandit Motiramji, a classical exponent. His family is well known for singing in the Mewati Gharana style. Motiramji died when Jasrajji was only four, on the day he was to be appointed as the state musician in the court of the Last Nizam. The Hindu, Dec 01, 2004.

Jasraj was initiated into vocal music by his father. He also received training from his elder brother, Pandit Maniramji, and later from Maharaja Jaywant Singhji Waghela. In addition, he trained under Swami Vallabhdas of the Agra Gharana. In 1960, when Jasraj went to visit Bade Ghulam Ali Khan in hospital, Khan asked him to become his disciple, but Jasraj declined saying that he could not accept Khan's tutelage since he was already Maniramji's disciple.

As a means of livelihood, Maniramji took Jasraj as an accompanying tabla player. However, at the time, just like sarangi players, tabla players were looked down upon as minor artists. At the age of 14, unhappy with his treatment as an accompanying artist, Jasraj left and vowed not to cut his hair until he learned to sing. He finally cut his hair after garnering his first AIR Radio...
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