A Chicago native of Palestinian descent, Ronnie Malley is a multi-instrumentalist that has been performing for audiences since his youth. Ronnie began guitar lessons at age nine, later moving on to piano, Middle Eastern percussion, and being self-taught on his principle instrument, the Oud (Mid- Eastern lute). As a member of the family band with his father and brother on percussion, Ronnie’s stage experience began by performing at weddings, concerts, festivals and local Middle Eastern clubs accompanying renowned artists such as Kazem Al Saher, Majdi Husseini, Wael Jassar, and Tony Hanna.
After years of playing Middle Eastern and American rock music, Ronnie expanded his musical palette to explore different traditions from around the world. He has studied and collaborated with musicians from – Senegal, Sudan, North Africa, India, Kashmir, Macedonia, Iran, Greece, Turkey, as well as with Afro-Peruvian folk artists, Rodolfo Munoz and Miguel Ballermos. Through these experiences, he has gained a vast repertoire of folk, classical, and spiritual songs from various cultures.
His more recent credits include principal musician and actor in the Lookingglass, Berkeley, and Arena Stage Theatre productions of “Arabian Nights”, assistant music arranger and performer in the Goodman Theatre production of “Mirror of the Invisible World”, both written and directed by Mary Zimmerman, French FTS Production documentary,“Modou The Hang Player – One World Music”, and MPEF Productions documentary, “At The Gate”.
Ronnie currently teaches at the Old Town School of Folk Music, conducts Arabic music workshops for Chicago Public Schools and the University of Chicago’s Startalk camp, composes and records for various film projects, as well as performing and touring with music groups Lamajamal, Mucca Pazza, Duzan Ensemble and the U of C Middle Eastern Music Ensemble.