Pandit Jasraj was singing till the end, says daughter after Indian music legend dies
Legendary Indian vocalist Pandit Jasraj, who passed away aged 90 at his residence in New Jersey on Monday, was a "maestro till the end" and was singing till the last moment, his adopted daughter Alka Aneja said.
"He was singing till last night; he did a video call with his students. He was indeed a maestro till the end. We are absolutely shocked. It's not just a personal loss, it's a loss for the nation. A legend and a great human being is no more," said Aneja.
The doyen of Indian classical music, who mesmerised the world of music for close to 80 years, passed away suddenly after complaining of some discomfort.
“The unfortunate demise of Pandit Jasraj Ji leaves a deep void in the Indian cultural sphere. Not only were his renditions outstanding, he also made a mark as an exceptional mentor to several other vocalists. Condolences to his family and admirers worldwide. Om Shanti,” said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (pictured presenting the musician one of his many accolades).
"Saddened by the passing away of Pandit Jasraj in New Jersey. Panditji was a towering figure of Indian Classical Music and his legacy will live on for generations. RIP," added Indian Ambassador to the US Taranjit Singh Sandhu.
Pandit Jasraj is survived by his wife Madhura Pandit, daughter Durga Jasraj and son Shaarangdev Pandit. His mortal remains will be taken to Mumbai this week, assisted by the Consulate General of India.
Born in 1930 in Hisar, Haryana, Pandit Jasraj moved to the US six months ago. He belonged to the Mewati Gharana of music and is a recipient of several accolades, including the prestigious Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan.
Tributes poured for the legendary artiste from far and wide. Veteran Indian singer Asha Bhosle expressed sorrow over the demise of her "big brother".
A statement released by the 86-year-old singer noted: "I am deeply saddened by the unfortunate demise of Pandit Jasraj ji... I have lost someone who was extremely fond of me, I have lost a big brother indeed! Sangeet ka sooraj doob gaya. (The sunshine of music has been dimmed.) He was a vocalist par excellence.”
Another popular musician Anup Jalota said the demise of the legendary Hindustani classical vocalist was a "big loss". In a self-made video, Jalota referred to the late musician as the "modern Tansen”.
"Demise of Pandit Jasraj is like the demise of modern Tansen. It is a very big loss of our shastriya (classical) music. He popularised Indian classical music in the entire world. He opened music schools in different areas," he said.