On a drizzling Saturday afternoon everything she says, means or shares leaves one with a warm feeling about not just her but also her contribution towards music. As founder and director of Art and Artistes, she has conceptualised a platform for talented singers, musicians and instrumentalists through Idea Jalsa, the multimedia project for all forms of Indian music. If that’s not enough by way of an introduction for Durga Jasraj, then she is also known as noted classical vocalist Pandit Jasraj’s daughter.
Addressing the media at the Chandigarh Press Club, Durga comes straight to the point saying, “As we enter the seventh year of Jalsa, the largest concert tour of Indian music, we are here in Chandigarh for the concert that will feature Niladari Kumar on the sitar and the Wadali brothers with their Sufi and qawwali performances at Kalagram, Manimajra, from 7pm onwards on Sunday.
This tour will be featuring more than five genres of music with over 100 artistes across 12 cities, out of which Chandigarh is the sixth destination. It will also be featured live on YouTube at https://www. youtube. com/indianmusicforsoul and on www.facebook. com/JalsaMusic ForTheSouls.”
The woman behind the grand musical concept then recalls the initial journey. “Jalsa’s journey started in 2006 as a grand concert tour across 39 countries with one channel called Doordarshan. The path has been challenging with 104 episodes of timeless content, with more than 450 live music performances, featuring 20 languages and regions, performances by over 700 musicians and artistes, and covering 55 genres of Indian music. The diversity of music forms has been challenging, but successfully adapted to multi-media formats like radio, television, inflight programmes across eight international airlines.”
The concept started with the humble goal of reaching out to at least 1% of the Indian population, which is about 120 crore. “We have managed to reach 15 crore so far. There’s a sense of achievement and excitement. Also, anyone who is part of Jalsa or gets a platform through it is promoted in the right manner,” she adds.