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Minnesota State University, Mankato
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Jan. 31: 'Ziryab, the Songbird of Andalusia'

Performance is in Halling Recital Hall.

Minnesota State University, Mankato Department of Music News Release, 1-2-2019

MANKATO, Minn. – Acclaimed Chicago musician, composer, and actor Ronnie Malley brings to campus the story of Abu’l Hesen ‘Elî ibn Nafî (better known as Ziryab) in his one-man production, “Ziryab, the Songbird of Andalusia.” The play is written by Malley and directed by Anna C. Bahow. The production will take place Thursday, Jan. 31 at 7:30 p.m. on the Elias J. Halling Recital Hall stage in the Earley Center for Performing Arts, 320 Maywood Ave.

“Ziryab” is a combination of dramatic lecture and musical presentation on the subject of an eighth-century polymath whose life proves that many of today’s “ancient” conflicts are not really eternal.

Malley connects this story with the large number of middle-eastern refugees today, as well as his own family’s expulsion from Israel. But he also demonstrates music’s power to bridge differences between people, while allowing them to express their own circumstances.

Malley’s musicianship is superb, and his interweaving of his own life with the story of Ziryab’s, as well as his highly-informative discourse on the medieval master’s legacy, makes for an enlightening evening.

The performance is made possible in part by a grant from the Association of Performing Arts Professionals, and Building Bridges: Arts, Culture, and Identify, a component of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art.

Admission is $12 for community members and $11 for University students with a valid MavCARD. Discount tickets are available online for University students. Advance purchase is encouraged.

Those who wish to purchase tickets online should go to

For more information, call the Performance Series office, (507) 389-5549.

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