Pandit Jasraj, one of India’s most celebrated classical singers died at his home in New Jersey in the US on Monday. He was 90.
A statement issued by Pandit Jasraj’s family read, “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.” The veteran vocalist was remembered by Indian celebrities and musci lovers. as well as members of the music fraternity. Oscar-winning film music composer A. R. Rahman tweeted: “RIP Pandit Jasraj. Indian classical music has lost one of its shining stars.”
“A huge pillar of Hindustani sangeet has fallen today. My heartfelt condolences to Pandit Jasraj’s family. I can see him standing on the stage with his arms raised as if he is blessing all of us and in his soft and silken voice for the last time he is saying jai ho,” read lyricist Javed Akhtar’s tweet.
“Deeply saddened to hear about the passing away of Pandit Jasraj. Ever since my accident in January 2020, I’ve been waking up to the strains of the best of Pandit Jasraj and am deeply grateful for the solace his voice has given me over the years. Condolences to Durga and the family,” veteran actress Shabana Azmi tweeted.
Singer Adnan Sami shared a chunk of memories and wrote in his tweet: “Moments with him are one of the most cherished moments of my life. I learned so much from his music. He encouraged me so much. One of the highlights of my life is him singing my composition. He’s left a musical treasure for us that is immortal! I will miss him.”
In a career spanning almost 80 years, Pandit Jasraj was a recipient of various prestigious awards and honours including Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan. His father Pandit Motiram and brother Pandit Pratap Narayan were also accomplished musicians.
Published in Dawn, August 18th, 2020