Gbahtuo ComgbayeGbahtuo Comgbaye

Gbahtuo Comgbaye was born and raised in Lower Nimba Conty, Liberia. His hometown, Nyor-didplay, was close to the border with the Ivory Coast, the homeland of an elder storyteller named Kergongor who periodically crossed into Liberia with his singers and traveled from village to village telling musical fables. Villagers from miles around gathered by the light of lanterns and bamboo torches to listen to Kergongor and his entourage spin their musical tales. Kergongor has been Comgbaye's artistic role model from the time he was a youngster until today. Comgbaye's extensive repertoire includes Kweze (Dan term for legends), spider stories, and call and response stories, known as Dangbei among people of the Dan ethnic group. Comgbaye was forced to flee Liberia during the civil war, and lived as a refugee in the Ivory Coast before coming to the United States. He currently resides in Philadelphia, where he is nearing completion of training for a nursing degree. He continues to practice his storytelling in school programs and performances for adults and children. He also performs with his wife, singer Zaye Tete, and other artists.