When Pandit Vijay Ghate was barely three, he surprised his mother by keeping rhythm with her as she hummed a song in their home in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh. Recognizing his talent, his parents urged him to learn the tabla.
As a teen, he once watched Pandit Zakir Hussain perform in his city and he was mesmerized. That inspired him to learn the art form and he came to Mumbai to train under Pandit Suresh Talwalkar for over twelve years.
Pandit Ghate provides accompaniment to all the three streams of Indian classical music, namely, vocal, instrumental and dance. He has shared the stage not only with eminent classical artists like Ustad Vilayat Khan, Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, Pandit Birju Maharaj, Pandit Jasraj, and many others, but also with contemporary musicians like Louis Banks, Shankar Mahadevan, Shivmani etc. He has also collaborated successfully with Western musicians to produce fusion music.
Pandit Ghate established Taalchakra, a Pune music festival to encourage young and upcoming artistes and to financially support the needy ones. He was awarded the Padma Shri in 2014.