The trio of musicians who make up traditional Irish folk band Bohola were friends long before they joined forces in 1999 to establish their group. Each had years of experience behind him and by uniting in Bohola, they melded their backgrounds in Celtic rock and traditional Irish music. London native Jimmy Keane, who is the group's accordionist, was born to Irish parents. The family left Ireland during the 1960s and settled in Chicago, where Keane's dad, James, guided his son toward traditional Irish music. The elder Keane was actively involved in the genre himself as a sean-nos singer. With his father guiding him, the younger Keane began performing with others on the Chicago music scene, including stepdancer and flutist Michael Flatley, later of Riverdance and Lord of the Dance fame, and fiddle player Liz Carroll. Keane went on to take top place in the All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoils competition for five straight years. In addition to his championship accordion playing, Keane also composes and arranges. He has toured with artists such as Eileen Ivers, Mick Moloney, Robbie O'Connell, and Seamus Egan, among others. Bohola's vocalist, Pat Broaders, is a native of Dublin who relocated to Chicago during the 1990s. His involvement with Irish music began when he was 12. He also spent time as a bouzouki student under the tutelage of Donal Lunny of the Bothy Band. In addition to the bouzouki, Broaders also plays the dordan. At home in Ireland, he worked with the bands An Beal Bocht, Cry Before Dawn, and In Tua Nua, among others. He has appeared with or contributed to the recordings of such artists as the Drovers, Martin Hayes, Aengus, and Larry Nugent, among others. Fiddler Sean Cleland grew up in Chicago, but originally hailed from Milwaukee. During his childhood, he became a student of classical music. Fiddler Carroll was one of his later instructors. Like bandmate Keane, Cleland also holds competition titles. He triumphed with his fiddle playing at a number of American Fleadh Cheoils competitions. He established the Drovers in 1989 and went on to devote ten years to the Celtic rock band. He has been featured in the films Blink and Backdraft.
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