|Born||21 September 1929|
Mangeshi, Goa, India
|Died||7 November 1998(aged 69)|
|Genres||Classical, semi-classical, devotional, musical theatre|
|Occupation(s)||Singer, composer, music teacher|
|Years active||1929–1998 [timesofindia.indiatimes.com]|
Pandit Jitendra Abhisheki (21 September 1929 – 7 November 1998) was an Indian vocalist, composer and scholar of Indian classical, semi-classical, and devotional music. While he distinguished himself in Hindustani music, he is also credited for the revival of the Marathi musical theatre in the 1960s. Jitendra Abhisheki has been praised as being "among the stalwarts of Hindustani classical music who mastered other musical forms as the thumri, tappa, bhajan, and bhavgeet. His work in Marathi natyasangeet is well-known."
An annual Pandit Jitendra Abhisheki Mahotsave is held, and the last was held in mid-October 2018 at the Yashwantrao Chavan Natyagruha in Kothrud, Maharashtra. In Goa, a Pandit Jitendra Abhisheki Music Festival held at the local Kala Academy also reached its 14th edition in 2018.
Jitendra was born in Mangeshi, Goa. His family was traditionally attached to the Mangeshi Temple of Lord Shiva. His father, Balawantrao aka Bikambhat, was a half-brother and a disciple of Deenanath Mangeshkar, and the temple priest and a Kirtankar (performer of Kirtana, a devotional music style). Balawantrao taught Jitendra the basic principles of Hindustani classical music. Jitendra received further training in vocal music from Jagannathbua Purohit and Azmat Hussain Khan of Agra Gharana, and Gullubhai Jasdanwala of Jaipur Gharana. Abhisheki was also well known for his renditions of his Marathi Natya Sangeet compositions like "Guntatá Hrdáya Hai", "He Suránno Chandra Vhá" and other songs/Marathi ghazals such as "Májhe Jívana Gáne","Kaivalyáchya", "Sarvátmaka sarveshvara", "Kátá rute kunálá" etc.
After receiving a degree in Sanskrit literature, Abhishekibuwa joined All India Radio (AIR) at Mumbai for a brief period, when he came in contact with several musicians and also got an opportunity to display his musical talents by composing several pieces for radio programs. Around this time, he received a scholarship from the Indian Government for advanced training in Hindustani classical music under Azmat Hussain Khan.
He composed vocal as well as background scores for 25 Marathi plays. After receiving a Homi Bhabha fellowship in the late sixties, he taught at a music school run in the USA by sitarist Ravi Shankar. He maintained his ties to his homeland of Goa through his association with the Kala Academy, counseling and guiding students from that state.
Besides son Shounak Abhisheki, Abhisheki's well-known musical disciples include Asha Khadilkar, Devaki Pandit, Shubha Mudgal, Ajit Kadkade, Raja Kale, Prabhakar Karekar, Vijay Koparkar, Mahesh Kale, Sameer Dublay and Dr.Hrishikesh Majumder