Born in Kolkata, India, of a musical family, began her first music instruction at the age of 5. Later she trained in Classical North Indian vocal with Pundit A. T. Kanan and Professor Amiya Ranjan Bannerjee of the Bishnupur Gharana. She learned light music from great vocalists and music directors in Kolkata, such as Himaghna Roy Chaudhury, Sudhin Das Gupta, Satinath Mukherjee, and Hemant Kumar. Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, the world renowned sarodist, founder, and president of the Ali Akbar College of Music in San Francisco, has stated, “Mala Ganguly is a highly accomplished vocalist as well as a skilled teacher of Indian music, whose work and artistry has received much appreciation from both the Indian and non-Indian communities.“ She gives lecture demonstrations at colleges and universities, and performs worldwide.
In 2006 (and for the past several seasons) Mala Ganguly was a featured artist for The Music Circle. In 2004 she was the guest artist for KPFK’s Global Village radio. She sang for the 80th birthday celebration of Ustad Ali Akbar Khan in San Rafael, the J. Paul Getty Museum Sounds of L.A.. She was also invited to sing for World Music performances in New York City, The Los Angeles India Festival, The Cerritos Performing Arts Center, The House of Blues, the 125th birthday celebration of the late Ustad Alauddin Khan (father of Ustad Ali Akbar Khan), and the 70th birthday anniversary of Pandit Ravi Shankar.
Contributing to the performing arts on stage, for radio, and television, Mala Ganguly has also sung as a playback singer in Indian (Bengali) films under the direction of the late Hemant Kumar. She is the founder, music director, composer-in-residence, and virtuoso vocalist of the Ragamala Music Ensemble, which presented the world premier of her new raga, Malaranjani, in the 2002 season. She is one of the most versatile of Indian vocalists, and sings in Bengali, Hindi, Urdu, Marathi, Punjabi, Oriya, English and other languages. She composes, performs and tours regularly with several professional Indian dance companies, both North and South. She has sung on All India Radio and for film voice-overs.
Widely acclaimed for her extraordinary vocal skill, Mala Ganguly is especially appreciated for her sweet timbre, flexibility, spontaneous complex vocal improvisations, and technical virtuosity. She works regularly with composers in jingles, voice-overs, film overlays, and fusion music. In 2001 she sang for the movie, The Man from Elysian Field starring Andy Garcia and also for the movie trailer for the European release of The Perfect Murder, with Michael Douglas. She has sang for Kenny Logan for the Walt Disney’s European version of the feature film, Jungle Book, and has lent her golden voice for the angel dream sequences in the film, Christmas Box, starring Maureen O’Hara and Richard Thomas. Her “mellifluous” voice has been heard throughout America in television commercials for Ameritrade, Kenwood, and the 1995 award-winning Nike commercial. As a SAG actress Mala Ganguly’s talents were utilized in the 2005 EBAY commercial.
Recordings are available on the CDs: Musings, Devotional Songs of India, Reminiscence, Bhajan Beats and on tape, Guldasta. Private CDS include In Memoriam: Oriya Devotional Songs and new 2009 ghazal album, Aaj Jane Ki Zid Na Karo . Collaborations have been many. She is a multi-talented accomplished artist. Her original artwork has been exhibited in the Laguna Beach Arts Festival, in the Monrovia Arts Festival, in San Francisco and in Los Angeles. She specializes in producing one-of-a-kind commissioned paintings and composites.
In 2007 Mala Ganguly was honored to be included in the Ali Akbar College of Music “The First Forty Years 1967-2007 Commemorative History Publication. She received the 2007 International Festival of Harmony Award: In Appreciation for Her Outstanding Contribution to South Asian Art & Culture. In 1986 the Gujarati Association of Los Angeles awarded her Honorary Lifetime Membership. In 1997 the Bengali Association of Southern California presented her with a Twenty-Year Service Award. In 1999 she was given Honorary Membership in Jagannaath Society of the Americas: for her In Memoriam: Oriya Devotional Songs CD. In 2010, the virtuoso was awarded the Outstanding Contibution to The Arts Award by the US House of Representatives and the Outstanding and Invaluable Service to the Community Award” by Members of Congress.She is an active member of the Hollywood Screen Actor’s Guild and the Society of Singers & is Founder and Music Director of the Ragmala Music Ensemble.
In 2007 Mala Ganguly founded the Surmala Music Foundation, which is dedicated to furthering the fine arts of North India. On May 31, 2008 the Surmala Music Foundation held its First Annual Fundraiser, and for the occasion the collaborative new CD Bhajan Beats was released. All contributions to the Surmala Music Foundation are gratefully received and are tax deductible. Recently, Prana – Healing Tones for Life by Mala Ganguly and David Vito Gregoli, was released. Watch out for Mala’s voice in the Julia Robert movie, Eat Pray Love.
Mala Ganguly website, click here