Evergreen began working as a Celtic music ensemble in 1999. Their music is strikingly original, blending Celtic music with Baroque, Latin, jazz, classical and Jewish Israeli melodies and rhythms. Embracing the Celtic spirit, along with their own personal beliefs and chosen way of life, has helped them to create the band’s special musical flavor and taken its members beyond time, form and style to create a sound that is uniquely their own.
To date, Evergreen has played in over 500 performances and musical projects throughout Israel, and participated in a variety of festivals, including: The Vocal Festival in Abu Ghosh; the Four Days in Ireland Festival; Jacob’s Ladder; the Spring Festival in Rishon le Tzion; Days of Music and Nature in Misgav; the Olive Days Festival; the Storytellers Festival in Givatayim; the Menta Festival for World Music at the Suzanne Dellal Center and more. In addition, Evergreen has appeared in numerous classical and chamber music series in Israel.
Over the years, Evergreen has appeared with many guest artists, including flautist Hagit Rosmarin; the Celtic harp player Sunita Staneslow; Israeli singer Hanan Yovel; Israeli lyricist, the late Ehud Manor; tenor singer Nimrod Grinboim; and several members of the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra: principle flautist Eyal Ayin-Habar; pianist Milka Laks; cellist Yoram Halperin; and violinist Rima Kaminkowski. Special guest artists from Ireland who have appeared with Evergreen include: Shane Mitchell, the accordionist from the spectacular Irish troupe “Dervish,” and the renowned Celtic harpist Gráinne Hambly.
A Decade of Music
1999: Gal and Michal Shahar, along with Eitan Hoffer, establish the Celtic ensemble Evergreen.
2000: Evergreen performs various items for the sound track of the award-winning Israeli movie, “Late Marriage,” composed by the renowned Josef Bardanashvili.
2001: The percussionist Abe Doron joins Evergreen following 1,200 performances around the world with the “Riverdance” show.
2002: Evergreen’s first album is released, entitled, “Riding towards Life.” The title song of this CD appears in a video clip, filmed and directed by Eitan Dotan, through “The Human Touch” productions.
2003: Evergreen records the song “Heaven’s Special Child” with renowned Israeli singer, Hanan Yovel. Written in English by an anonymous author and translated into Hebrew by the late Ehud Manor, Evergreen performs the piece at a benefit for the Shalva Center for children with special needs. The performance, which takes place in the Henry Crown Auditorium at the Jerusalem Theater, hosted and directed by Ehud Manor, is later broadcast on Israel’s Channel 2 TV network.
2004: The guitarist, composer and songwriter Moshe Avigdor becomes a member of Evergreen, bringing his own special blend of musical styles.
Evergreen produces a new show entitled, “The Great Green Expanse of Ireland and Scotland,” for the Abu Ghosh Vocal Music Festival.* The performance features musicians from the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra, a troubadour quartet and bagpipe players Uri Shleifer and Uri Miles. This rich combination of Celtic folk songs arranged by Beethoven, together with Evergreen’s Celtic music, moves and exhilarates the audience. Due to the show’s acclaim, it is later recorded live and broadcast on the program “Etnachta,” for Israel’s “Voice of Music” radio station.
The ensemble begins work on a brand new show that combines various Irish arts: music, dance and storytelling, joined by the guest artists, the “Ring of Turquoise” storytellers.
*In 2011, “The Great Green Expanse of Ireland and Scotland,”will be renewed and performed at the Abu Ghosh Vocal Music Festival.
2005: Evergreen’s second album, “The Unseen Dance,” is released. Among the many warm and enthusiastic reviews, Ami Brand of “Mikor Rishon” daily newspaper writes: “Evergreen are poets, for whom the shackles of form and style cannot hinder their achievement of a spectacular expression, and whose sound has no link - and perhaps needs none - with its members’ geographical location.” The CD was recorded in Studio 1, by Leo Doron.
2006: Evergreen produces a new and unique show, “Voices beyond the Stream of Time,” which combines Irish and early Celtic music. The program integrates early musical instruments such as the harpsichord (played by Michal Shahar) and the theorbo (played by Eitan Hoffer, a founding member of the ensemble), and guest vocalist, the talented tenor Nimrod Grinboim. The show is later performed at the Abu Gosh Vocal Music Festival, where its unique coupling of musical styles earns it an enthusiastic response.
This same year, Evergreen arranges several special recording projects, including: a song in memory of IDF Paratrooper Yirmi Bardanov; “Ring of Protection,” recorded with a class of Katzrin schoolgirls and dedicated to the memory of Tair Rada; and ‘Sand Box,” for the commemorative movie produced by “The Human Touch,” and directed by Eitan Dotan.
2010: The members of Evergreen decide to slow the pace in order to provide some quiet time with their families and to create, think, have children, be renewed and enrich themselves personally. And indeed, each one grows in his or her way.
Gal Shahar continues his advanced studies in violin, founds a school for violin teaching in Ma’ale Tzvia in the Galilee, and founds the “Tzalool” duo, which releases the exciting CD, “Have You Been at the River?” with the harpist Sunita Staneslow.
Moshe Avigdor enlarges his family, extends his classic guitar teaching and begins to conduct two Celtic-Balkan ensembles. He also begins recording his second song album.
Michal Shahar spends more time in the vocation of motherhood, and resumes piano playing after many years’ break. Through her studies with the healer pianist Dafna Raphael, Michal begins to deepen in the art of healing through music. She also partners with Hagit Rosmarin, Dana Keren and Ofra Omri to give birth to the new women’s ensemble, “Women’s Mountain.”
Abe Doron enlarges his family and fulfills his dream of founding a school for percussion playing, the largest of its kind, called “Peimot” Drum and Percussion Center,” where today he continues to serve as director. Abe continues to play in performances with the groups “Tzalool” and “Celtan,” participates in the musical-environmental project, “Eco Music,” conceived by the musician Gil Buhadana, and takes part in several musicals. Abe also spends a great deal of time in recording studios, working on albums with various artists.
The flutist Hagit Rozmarin joins Evergreen for a few years, offering much strength and support. She has always believed in Evergreen’s ability to touch human lives, and for that she deserves a special thank you.
While taking time out for our families, and working on those projects that we have listed here, we have continued to perform on a “low flame.” The mutual journey of Evergreen continues to reveal itself.