Mance started making bodhráns in 1975. Initially, he made them for himself. But whenever he played at festivals and concerts, people would seek him out and when they found out he made his own bodhran, they'd ask him if he could make one for them. Thus began Mance's career as a bodhrán maker.
Mance and Lori married in 1990. Lori has been "apprenticed" to Mance, assisting him in "the shop" and occasionally helps in different aspects of building the drums and designing tippers. Lori also paints Celtic knotwork and other designs on on the drum shells. Various pieces that have been commissioned can be seen on the The Gallery page.
Their son, Cullen, sometimes helps his Dad out, too.
All this is supervised by our constant companion, Micho, our Sheltie.
Ace Bodhráns began as the name of Mance Grady's line of top-quality bodhráns. His wife, Lori, who is an artist, graphic designer, and website designer among other things, came up with the name, taking it from a comment someone once said about Mance being an "ace" bodhran player because he excelled at playing the bodhran. For many year's prior to the official product line name, Mance had been using custom stationery that was a gift from Lori. And so this name seemed to be the natural progression which aptly described Mance's drums.
It has since grown to include various accessories and so now refers to their online store where you can buy bodhráns, various tippers, bodhran cases, drum skin conditioner, and recordings. We hope to have more things to offer, such as prints, and perhaps original artwork created by Lori (many of her artwork painted on bodhráns can be seen in The Gallery of Art Bodhráns).
Please pardon our appearance as we keep the site open during our renovations...