NEW YORK – Padma Vibhushan Pandit Jasraj, 88, is one of the foremost Indian classical vocalists.
Pandit Jasraj has had a long association with North America. Apart from performing at several venues in the continent, he has founded schools for Indian classical music in Atlanta, Tampa, Vancouver, Toronto, New York, New Jersey, and Pittsburgh.
On Sunday, April 22, Pandit Jasraj will perform along with Pandit Rajan Misra and Pandit Sajan Misra, at the East Brunswick High School, East Brunswick, New Jersey. The concert is organized by the Pandit Jasraj Institute.
Pandit Jasraj recently lent vocals for the upcoming biopic of Guru Nanak Dev titled, ‘Nanak Shah Fakir’.
Excerpts of an e-mail interview with News India Times:
Who do you look up to in the music world?
Many musicians are there.
How many people have you taught music to throughout the years?
I don’t count. May be about 50 of my disciples are established professional musicians and they are earning their bread and butter through music.
What advice would you give to the young musicians of today?
They should obey their mother, father and guru’s order and if they want to be a musician they should riyaaz (practice) at least 4 to 5 hours a day.
What do you have to say about the digitization of music and how we are using technology to make music?
I always admire technology in whichever way comes in our way. Through digitization you can preserve our treasure for the next generations.
For a musician, is it important to learn classical music? Why so?
Because there are many techniques in Classical music by which you learn to mold your voice, your imagination. Whatever you sing you do it knowingly. The knowledge of technique is very important to be a complete musician. Hence, all should learn classical music at first.
What is your take on the different styles of music the world has to offer in this day and age?
I like every type of music. Every music has their own flavor that makes it unique from the other style and I like that part. Jai Ho!