By Chetan Vinchhi
Yashwantbua Joshi, now 76 ( in 2004), is one of the leading exponents of the khayal gayaki of Gwalior and Agra gharanas. Yaswantbua had extensive training in Pune from Pt. Mirashibua. Around 1950, he moved to Bombay where he came under the tutelage of Pt. Jagannathbua Purohit “Gunidas”. He was also influenced by the gayaki of stalwarts such as Gajananbua Joshi and Chhota Gandharva.
His gayaki combines the romanticism of swara with the discipline of laya, making his mehfils unparalleled in quality. He is an old- school artist at heart, preferring the Tilwada or Jhumra (not the ati-vilambit kind) for his khayals. The khayal is usually followed by multiple bandishes (or, rarely, taranas) in the same raag. The khayal presentations are full and leisurely. The badhat and the chhota khayals are peppered with a variety of taans and very sophisticated layakari. He has a huge repertoire of bandishes, from which he summons the choicest of compositions and presents them with panache. While his concerts are dominated by khayal, he also enjoys singing the occassional natyageet or bhajan.
Yashwantbua has been honoured with a number of awards, including the Maharashtra Government Gaurav Puraskar in 1993 and, most recently, the Sangeet Natak Academy Award.