Kolkata, Feb 4: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday paid homage to legendary vocalist Pandit Bhimsen Joshi on his birth anniversary.
“Homage to legendary vocalist Pandit Bhimsen Joshi on his birth anniversary,” Ms Banerjee posted on her social networking page. Born on this day in 1922, Pandit Bhimsen was a vocalist from Karnataka, in the Hindustani classical tradition.
He is known for the khayal form of singing, as well as for his popular renditions of devotional music (bhajans and abhangs). Bhimsen belongs to Kirana gharana tradition of Hindustani Classical Music. Pt. Joshi is noted for his concerts, in fact no other singer in India has given so many concerts as Pt. Joshi.
It is also worth mentioning that in 1964, King of Afghanistan, Mohammed Zahir Shah, himself invited Pt. Joshi for a concert in Kabul. Between 1964 to 1982 Joshi toured Italy, France, Canada and USA. He was the first musician from India whose concerts were advertised through posters in New York city, United States. Bhimsen was instrumental in organising the Sawai Gandharva Music Festival annually, as homage to his guru, Pandit Sawai Gandharva.
He sang for several films, including Basant Bahar (1956) with Manna Dey, in Marathi movie "Swayamvar zale Siteche" (1964) for famous song "Ramya Hi Swargahun lanka", in Kannada movie Sandhya Raga (1966) where he has sung extensively. It includes a song "e pariya sobagu" rendered in both Hindustani and Carnatic (Karnataka shastriya sangeetha) styles along with M. Balamuralikrishna.
Bhimsen sang Birbal My Brother (1973) with Pandit Jasraj. He also sang for the Bengali film Tansen (1958) and Bollywood Movie Ankahee (1985) which later fetched him National Film Award for Best Male Playback Singer His song 'Bhagyadalakshmi baaramma', a Purandara Dasa composition, was used by Anant Nag and Shankar Nag in the Kannada film Nodi Swami Naavu Irodhu Heege.
He also sang as a playback singer for the Marathi film Gulacha Ganapati, produced and directed by P. L. Deshpande In 1998, he was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship, the highest honour conferred by Sangeet Natak Akademi, India's National Academy for Music, Dance and Drama.
Subsequently, he received the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honour, in 2009. He is also known as the 'God of Singing' or 'God of Music'. (UNI)