Yellowknife guitar tribute planned for John Wifladt

John Wifladt
John Wifladt was an avid musician and member of the Yellowknife Guitar Circle.
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Yellowknife Guitar Circle will host a musical tribute at Javaroma in memory of John Wifladt this Sunday.

Wifladt, 39, died in an incident at a Yellowknife home last month in which another man – named locally as Colin Digness – was seriously injured.

Police say they are treating Wifladt’s death as homicide, but have yet to reveal details of what took place. The Yellowknifer newspaper has reported the belief of Wifladt’s brother, Tommy, that swords may have been involved.

For Marino Casebeer, who played regularly alongside John Wifladt as fellow members of the Yellowknife Guitar Circle, news of Wifladt’s death came as a tragic shock.

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“With his passing, members wanted to do something to acknowledge his participation,” Casebeer told Moose FM.

“He never missed a session. He was always very enthusiastic and eager to participate, and he was very likable there. It shook everyone up when the news happened, just a week after our last session.”

Casebeer has uploaded a video of Wifladt playing Sweet Home Alabama (pictured) as a way to remember his contributions to the guitar circle’s jams.

“I uploaded it for the family, so they have kind of immortal legacy,” said Casebeer. “Apparently John’s mother had never heard him perform.”

Sunday’s musical tribute will begin at 5pm at Yellowknife’s Javaroma cafe, and features a nine-song set list.

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“All of the songs, except two, are songs John had brought forward to the circle,” said Casebeer, who is organizing the event.

“They are singalong classics – things like For What It’s Worth, Stand By Me, Lean On Me.”

Wifladt’s family told Yellowknifer on Friday that police have still to provide any details regarding his death, a month after it took place.

“I’m not being kept in the loop. I don’t know what they are doing. It’s a small town but [police] seem to be taking their sweet time,” his mother, Alice Wifladt, told the newspaper.

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