Spirit of John Benefit 1/31/19 – The House Band!

On January 31, 2019, Spirit of the West will be honoured to take the stage with this fabulous group of musicians. The House Band will be doing the heavy lifting musically during the concert, playing a wide selection of songs which influenced and inspire John Mann — a live in concert John Mann party mixtape! Here’s a quick rundown of who will be Rockin’ the House:


Chris Wardman first came to the public eye as the guitar player and songwriter for seminal Canadian new wave band Blue Peter. The band’s hit songs included “Chinese Graffiti”, “Radio Silence” and “Don’t Walk Past”.

Wardman went on to a successful producing career working on albums for Art Bergmann, Rusty, Chalk Circle, Randy Bachman, The Leslie Spit Tree-o, Emm Gryner, The Watchmen, Big Wreck, Ensign Broderick and many others.

As a guitarist Wardman has played live and/or recorded with numerous artists including Art Bergmann, Breeding Ground, Blue Peter, Chalk Circle, Emm Gryner, Ensign Broderick, Leslie Spit Tree-o, Meryn Cadell and Rusty.

Visit Chris’ Website



photo credit –turnituporturnitoff.com

John Dinsmore is a producer, engineer and owner of The Lincoln County Social Club.


He plays the bass with Donovan Woods and the Opposition, NQ Arbuckle and Kathleen Edwards.
Visit the LCSC FB Page


photo credit: http://petenema.com

photo credit: http://petenema.com

Stephan Szczesniak

Born in Toronto, Ontario. Has played on over 300 commercial jingles. Recorded and played live with numerous signed and independant artists including, Ian Thornley from “Big Wreck”, Hawksley Workman, Serena Ryder, David Usher, Sarah Slean, Liam Titcomb, Edwin from “I Mother Earth”, Evanesence, Spookey Ruben, FeFe Dobson, Jeremy Fisher and Jeen O’Brien to name a few. 30 years of playing experience. Was hired as the percussionist/drummer for the London Grand Theatres production of “Joni Mitchell:RIVER” and was the Sub drummer/percussionist for The Stratford Festivals production of “Tommy”. Has Played on over 50 full length albums.


|Lead Vocals, Guitar|

Chris Tait

photo of Chris Tait

• Chris was the singer/guitarist with Canadian recording artists Chalk Circle. They recorded 3 certified gold albums for Duke Street Records. ‘The Great Lake’, ‘Mending Wall’ and ‘As The Crow Flies’ included the hit songs April Fool, Me Myself and I, This Mourning, Not in my Back Yard, and Son’s and Daughters. Chalk Circle toured internationally in support of these recordings as a headliner and shared the stage with Crowded House, Tears for Fears and Rush on many occasions. Seven years and 3 albums later, Chalk Circle disbanded.
• After Chalk Circle, Chris went on to write and perform with Canadian Recording artists Big Faith. Along with Ken Greer (Red Rider), rhythm section Fergus Marsh and Michael Sloski (Bruce Cockburn) they independently released 2 critically acclaimed albums ‘Grounded’ and ‘Undertow’ and toured extensively across Canada and into the US.
• In 1994 Chris started commercial production company ‘Tantrum’ with a couple of partners. After five years with Tantrum it was time for a change. Chris joined Pirate Radio and Television in January 2000 as an associate composer/ director and became a partner in January 2002.
• Chris recorded his first solo album ‘Hello… my name is Chris Tait’ in 2003.
• In 2004 Chris was asked to write the song “A Little Music” for the Coalition For Music Education in Canada’s first annual ‘Music Monday’ event. As a celebration of the galvanizing power of music, School children all across Canada simultaneously performed ‘A Little Music’ on the first Monday in May. (For more details about music Monday visit Music Makes Us.
• On February 24, 2006 Universal Music Canada released a Chalk Circle Best Of compilation as part of their ‘20th Century Masters’ series. Chalk Circle re- grouped for a sold out reunion performance at Lee’s Palace in Toronto in June 2006. In 2013 the band were able to acquire all of the rights to their original recordings and had them re-mastered and subsequently re-released. You can find their music on iTunes and all of those other online retailers. Since the re- release of their albums Chalk Circle have been performing live across Canada.
• Chris is currently a composer, director and partner at commercial production company Pirate Toronto. Pirate makes sound for Commercials, Television Series, Web Apps, Games and pretty much anything else that needs sound. They also license original music at Hook Music.
• Chris also continues to write and perform original music and in his spare time, plans on recording a second solo album. You might find it available one day at Chris Tait Sings.


|Keyboards, Musical Director|

Ari Posner

ARI POSNER is a fixture in Canadian film and television, having scored series such as Netflix/CBC’s Anne, X Company, Blood and Fury: America’s Civil War, and the critically acclaimed TV series Flashpoint, as well as feature films All the Wrong Reasons, Borealis, and romantic comedy My Awkward Sexual Adventure. The music composer’s repertoire spans from long-format work to ads to animated series, and everything in between.

Originally from Winnipeg, Ari is a proud alumnus of York University’s Fine Arts Program where he studied composition and improvisation.

He shared a 2013 Canadian Screen Award with his longtime friend Amin Bhatia for their work on the internationally acclaimed and Toronto made series Flashpoint. Over the years Ari has been nominated five other times for Gemini Awards and was also the recipient of a Juno Award for producing the popular children’s album Music Soup.

Alongside his talented colleague Ian Lefeuvre, Posner also co-wrote the theme music to Terry O’Reilly’s CBC Radio talk show Under the Influence.  Posner and Lefeuvre enjoy a great shorthand together after having spent five years scoring the hit children’s animated series Johnny Test.

Through his traditional music background and experience collaborating with live musicians and orchestras, Posner has developed a rich compositional skill set. His studio is currently located at Pirate Radio and Television in downtown Toronto.

See and Hear more at Ari’s website