Born on 31 December 1915 in Wai in Maharashtra, Shrimati Yamunabai Waikar is a renowned exponent of
Baithak Lavani. She was taught Lavani-singing by her mother Gitabai, and was later trained professionally
in the Rangu-Gangu Sangeet Party. She also received training in Hindustani music from Faqir Mahammad
of Bombay and Akhtarbhai of Kolhapur. She has received acclaim for her rendering of Lavani.
At the age of fifteen, Shrimati Yamunabai formed her own Lavani group with her sisters -- the Yamuna- Hira-Tara Waikar Sangeet Party -- which achieved wide fame in Maharashtra. Among the outstanding Lavani artists of her time, Yamunabai excelled in Lavanis of various types and gave innumerable performances all over Maharashtra. She has also sung Thumri, Tarana and Ghazal. Since her retirement from active performance at the age of fifty, she has been training younger artists in Lavani-singing and has conducted Lavani camps organized by the Government of Maharashtra.
Shrimati Waikar has been honoured with the Maharashtra Rajya Puraskar in 1977, the Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Parishad Puraskar in 1989, the Maharashtra Gaurav Puraskar and the title Lavani Samragyi in 1990, the Natya Gaurav Puraskar in 1994, and the award of the Maharashtra State Literature and Cultural Organization in 2010. In 1994, she received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for her contribution to Lavani.
Shrimati Yamunabai Waikar is elected Tagore Fellow of Sangeet Natak Akademi for her contribution to traditional music and dance.