Santosh Joshi with his Guru Paramanand Joshi
Joshi received his tabla training from his elder brother Paramanand Joshi and also started lap (hawaine) guitar playing under the guidance of G.D. Jhanwar. He received a degree in vocal music from the Bhatkhande School of Music in Lucknow and from the Indira Kala Music School (I.K.S. University) in Khairagarh. He is also a B-high grade artist of All India Radio. He is especially known for his taans which are produced more intuitively than through deliberation, and for surprising and sudden turns of phrase, for example through the unexpected use of boltaans. Over the years, his repertoire has tended to favor a relatively small number of complex and serious ragas. Some of his more popular ragas include Shuddha Sarang, Kalashree, Madhuvanti, Kirwani, Malkauns, Shankara, Patdeep, Charukeshi, Gorakh Kalyan and Vachaspati. His singing is mostly influenced by musicians such as D.V. Paluskar, Bhimsen Joshi, Rajan-Sajan Mishra, and Ajoy Chakraborty. Joshi assimilated into his own singing various elements that he liked in different musical styles.
Joshi has attempted to popularize Hindustani classical music by giving various stage performances. He is currently teaching at the Government M.S. College in Bikaner. He has also taught many students including his daughter and son.