Madhava Gudi was born in Dharwad, Karnataka into a family of keertankars and harikatha (devotional) musicians.
Madhava Gudi was introduced to music at a very early age. His initial training was under Pandit Nageshrao Deshpande and later from the great maestro of Gwalior gharana, Pandit Basavaraj Rajguru. He finally received his most important training from the Kirana scion Pandit Bhimsen Joshi in a guru-shishya milieu which lasted well over twenty six years.
Gudi's voice suited for Hindustani classical as well as light classical (dasavani and abhang) music. A top-grade All India Radio artiste, he toured all over India and performed with Pt. Bhimsen Joshi in several centers in India and overseas.
Among several accolades that he received were the Sangeeta Nritya Academy award from the Government of Karnataka, Surashri, Gaana Bhaskar, Smt Vatsala Tai Joshi Award, Gaana Kala Tilaka and the Yashavant Rao Chauhan Samata Gaurav Puraskar.