Pandit Jasraj (born 28 January 1930) is a famous Indian Classical vocalist. He is the foremost exponent of the Mewati Gharana of Hindustani classical music. Jasraj was born in Hissar, 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. 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. He was also greatly influenced by the voice of the famous ghazal singer, Begum Akhtar, whom he used to listen to, skipping school, at a small hotel playing her songs all day. This inspired him to learn vocal. In 1960, when Jasraj went to visit Bade Ghulam Ali Khan at a hospital, Khan asked him to become his disciple, but he declined saying that he could not accept his tutelage since he was already Motiram’s disciple.
Jasraj is blessed with a rich, soul stirring and sonorous voice, traversing effortlessly across three and a half octaves. His vocalizing is in perfect diction and clarity. He also did extensive research in Haveli Sangeet. His greatest contribution to Indian classical music is his conception of a unique and novel jugalbandi, styled on the ancient system of moorchanas, between a male and a female vocalist, each singing in their respective scales and different ragas at the same time. Jasraj has many students and is ensuring longevity of his genre. Amongst his flag-bearing disciples, Pt. Rattan Mohan Sharma, Sanjeev Abhyankar, Suman Ghosh, Tripti Mukherjee, and Kala Ramnath are well-known exponents of the Mewati Gharana. Sadhana Sargam, a well-known Bollywood singer, is one of his disciples.
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