It’s Friday afternoon, and over lunch, Pandit Jasraj watches the India-Australia cricket match. He’s simply accomplished a spherical of interviews, and his daughter Durga jokes, “How did you agree to talk to the media on the day of a match?” He smiles and says, “No one instructed me in regards to the recreation earlier.”
The legendary Mewati gharana vocalist, who turned 89 on January 28, this 12 months exhibits no indicators of ageing. He’s dressed immaculately in a spotless white kurta and black sleeveless jacket and a shawl round his neck. His reminiscence is crystal-clear and his sense of humour as sharp as ever. All by, there’s a way of contentment in his talking.
Jasraj is gearing up for the Golden Voice Golden Years live performance, organised by Durga’s firm Artwork and Artistes. Aimed toward being a musical biography, it can characteristic Anup Jalota slated to carry out ghazals, a tabla ensemble by Kedar Pandit and recital violinist L. Subramaniam, earlier than he seems on stage.
“Why are we beginning with ghazals? As a baby, I used to be first uncovered to the music of ghazal queen Begum Akhtar. The tune ‘Deewana Banana Hai Toh Deewana Bana De’ can be performed at an area restaurant close to my place in Hyderabad. I’d hear it many times. Begum Akhtar, like Ustad Faiyaz Khan, had a cracked voice. However the magic these singers exuded was phenomenal,” he says.
Maestro of all
Although Jasraj needed to develop into a singer, different issues beckoned. He recollects, “Not many know that I performed Hindustani classical music on the guitar. Later, I started studying tabla from my second brother Pandit Pratap Narayan.” The singing classes got here from his eldest brother Pandit Maniram. Says Jasraj, “It required great effort and apply. After all, having learnt a little bit of tabla, I bought the rhythmic side faster.” The singer accompanied Maniram for a number of years. He says, “My first solo live performance was in Kathmandu. I used to be 22. I sang Raag Multani and the Shiv bhajan ‘Gal Bhujang Bhasm Ang’. Individuals appreciated my voice and the live shows turned common.”
Jasraj additionally learnt from Jaywant Singh Waghela, Ghulam Kadar Khan and Swami Vallabhdas Damulji, and shortly took to educating. He recollects, “I’d train a few of Maniram’s college students in Kolkata. In 1960, a younger gentleman Chandrashekar Swami approached me to be his guru. It took a number of years however after shifting to Mumbai, I started educating him, Girish Wazalwar and Paresh Nayak.” Through the years, Jasraj has had many college students. Moreover vocalists, there have been violinist Kala Ramnath and flautist Shashank Subramaniam. “After all I at all times settle for a gifted musician if approached. However I’ve by no means gone round searching for disciples. Right this moment, certainly one of my younger vocal college students is Swar, son of my nephew Rattan Mohan Sharma. His voice is shaping up rather well,” he factors out.
The dialog strikes on to his specialities Haveli Sangeet, a type of Hindu temple music, and Jasrangi Jugalbandi, the place a female and male singer render totally different ragas collectively. He explains, “My father Pandit Motiram sang the ashtapadis and Haveli Sangeet. So I resolve to analysis them. Jasrangi Jugalbandi began once I heard my disciples Sanjeev Abhyankar and Shweta Jhaveri, and led me to think about an idea based mostly on the precept of murchana (every of the 14 scales of seven notes which begin on one of many seven notes of both of the 2 grama). Due to my spouse Madhura, I additionally did ballets and dance dramas like Gita Govinda.” How a lot does he apply and train, in the present day? “Apply by no means stops. You can’t hold a automotive off the roads for lengthy. As for educating, my college students hold coming over and practising. I hold observing them and becoming a member of as and when,” he says. When he’s not concerned with music, the maestro spends time together with his household, or watching sport. “Cricket is there, after all. I really like hockey too. Typically on stage, when my disciples sing with me, I really feel I’m passing a hockey ball to them. They return it and I rating a objective,” he jokes. Over his prolonged and illustrious profession, one has misplaced monitor of the variety of musical objectives Jasraj has scored.
Golden Voice Golden Years – Pandit Jasraj will carry out this night at 7 p.m. Shanmukhananda Corridor, Sion; extra particulars at bookmyshow.com