Here is come news about Raagi Bhai Avtar Singh Ji from DiscoverSikhi:
Vaheguru ji ka khalsa, Vaheguru ji ki fatheh!!!!
Guru pyare saadh sangat jee,
As you may know, a jewel of the Khalsa panth, Shiromani ragi Bhai Sahib Bhai Avtar Singh Ji has left this earthly realm for permanent residence in the charan-kamal of Akaal Purakh Vaaheguroo. With his spiritual strength, amazing talent, inviting voice, enchanting stories, and inspiring lifestyle, Bhai Sahib Bhai Avtar Singh Ji shined a bright star in this dark, dark age. Bhai Sahib's son, Bhai Kultar Singh Ji, had recently joined to do keertan with his father, and is also blessed with a spiritual sophistication, and an ability to beautifully articulate Punjabi sakhis into English as well. How fortunate and blessed are we, that the Guru has given us this art of gurmat sangeet, and these beautiful enlightening teachings of Gurbani, to ferry us across the world ocean. Using these tools, Bhai Avtar Singh ji was blessed by the Guru, and in doing so also brought blessings to countless other fellow Gursikhs.
Bhai Sahib had leukemia, which is a type of cancer. The nature of cancer is to destroy healthy cells, and to spread through the body. However cancer did not defeat Bhai Avtar Singh ji. Bhai Avtar Singh ji spent his life destroying bad thoughts, and spreading goodness through the world. How would cancer destroy such a person? Only Bhai Sahib's five-elemental body was destroyed, but reflecting the light of Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji, following the legacy of his brothers Bhai Mati Das Ji, Bhai Sati Das Ji, and Bhai Dayala Ji, Bhai Sahib Bhai Avtar Singh Ji's spirit is amar (immortal).
The Ragi Jatha of Bhai Avtar Singh Ji, Bhai Kultar Singh Ji and Bhai Swarn Singh Ji represents an unbroken Gurmat Sangeet tradition that goes all the way back to the times of the Gurus. Bhai Sahib Avtar Singh Ji's father, Bhai Sahib Jwala Singh Ji was an accomplished Ragi, who imparted his knowledge of Gurmat Sangeet to Bhai Sahib Avtar Singh Ji and his older brother Bhai Sahib Gurcharan Singh
Bhai Sahib Avtar Singh Ji and Bhai Sahib Gurcharan Singh Ji have rendered invaluable service to the Sikh Panth by preserving Gurmat Sangeet in its pristine form. They accomplished this by their unwavering commitment to the tradition over the years even as Gurmat Sangeet was being subverted by the pressures of popular culture and film music. The crowning achievement of their career was the publication of 'Gurbani Sangeet Prachin Reet Ratnavali' in which they documented hundreds of traditional Gurmat Sangeet compositions handed down from generation to generation in an unbroken oral tradition.
The Jatha has been renewed upon its being joined by Bhai Kultar Singh, Bhai Avtar Singh Ji's son, who gave up his professional career to return to his roots and propogate the family's tradition as exponents of Gurmat Sangeet.
Update (June 2005)
After a hiatus of 59 years, Bhai Avtar Singh Ji picked up a Taus again, thus bringing back to the practice of Gurmat Sangeet the use of a stringed instrument. These recordings, made during his visit to the Boston area in June 05, feature Bhai Sahib accompanying himself on Taus. Bhai Sahib Ji was extremely pleased to hear kirtan by the children of the Boston Gurmat Sangeet Project; some of the recordings by the children, made during his visit are also featured on this page.
During his Katha in the June 10 recordings, Bhai Sahib Ji mentions the children's kirtan in generous terms. On June 11, Bhai sahib ji sang a magnificent Asa Ki Var, playing his Taus for the entire two hours ! In the Asa Ki Var, he sang fabulous shabads in Devgandhari, Prabhati, Asavari and Bhairavi. The same evening, at Millis he sang, perhaps one of his best renditions that I have had the pelasure of hearing, of an ancient Dhrupad; the shabad was Gun Naad Dhun Anand Bhed.
Source - Gurmat Sangeet Project (www.gurmatsangeetproject.com)