Padma Vibhushan Pandit Jasraj has now completed 50 years of his journey in music. This great occasion was celebrated at the Chowdaiah Memorial Hall, Bangalore on 21 and 22 December 2003 by a mega concert titled ‘Golden Voice – Golden Years’. This event was managed by Pancham Nishad of “Art and Artistes” an organization headed by Pandit Jasraj’s daughter, Smt. Durga Jasraj.
For the first time in the history of Hindustani classical music, a musicography (film and live performances) portraying the life and career of one of the greatest doyens of Indian Music was exhibited at a nation-wide concert. The musicography on Pandit Jasraj charted his musically colorful life right from his days as a young student to the present times as one of the pillars of ‘Hindustani Shastriya Sangeet’.
Golden Voice – Golden Years featured eminent maestros and prodigies of different performing arts. The program in Bangalore began with recitals by Ankita Joshi (the youngest disciple of Pandit Jasraj) and Pandit Jagdish Prasad followed by an exciting ‘Jugalbandi’ between the innovative percussionist Shivamani and tabalchi Pandit Anindo Chatterjee.
The second day’s performance began with a violin recital by Dr. L. Subramaniam accompanied by Kamalakar Rao on the mridangam, Ghantasala Satya Sai on the moorsing and Subhash Chandra on the ghatam. This performance moved Pandit Jasraj to such an extent that he came on stage and proclaimed, “When Dr. L.S. was playing the violin, I just closed my eyes and lo behold, it was as if the entire gamut of musical instruments was resonating in perfect harmony with his violin!” Such a rare and rich compliment from one living legend to another brought tears of joy to the entire gathering.
The much-awaited performance by Pandit Jasraj himself was next. He began with a Raj Darbari and everything that followed was a feast to music lovers. The audience was particularly moved, as it was nearly 10 years since Pandit Jasraj had performed on such a large scale in the city of Bangalore. A remarkable feature of Panditji’s concert was that he asked for the auditorium lights to be turned up to the maximum. This was in sharp contrast to most others who want the auditorium lights to be dimmed while performing. “I want to see my audience,” said the Panditji in his inimitable style “for, in them, I see God …….!”