Neumann Professor/Punk Musician Creates Album to Benefit Ukraine

Janis Chakars speaks at Neumann University radio station 98.5 WNUW.
Image via Pete Bannon, Daily Times.
Janis Chakars speaks at Neumann University radio station 98.5 WNUW.

Janis Chakars, a Neumann University communications professor and a founding member of the punk rock band Citizens Arrest, is combining both occupations to help the people of Ukraine, writes Pete Bannan for the Daily Times.

With family in Eastern Europe, he’s been particularly outraged by the Russian invasion.

So he’s created a compilation music album, “Band Together, a Benefit for Ukraine”, featuring seven Ukrainian bands.

The album cover for “Band Together” showing a Soviet-era statue painted in blue and yellow from a photo Chakars took while in Kyiv.

The album is available for $10. It is available on the music site BandCamp.

Money from album sales goes to Razom, a Ukrainian-American 501c3 delivering medical supplies.

Chakars has family in Latvia and has visited Kyiv. The war got him thinking.

 “As a Neumann guy, our whole project is based on Catholic social teaching and Franciscan values, and a core teaching is solidarity with the oppressed, and there is hardly anyone more oppressed than the Ukrainians are right now.”

Four days into the war, he started calling around.  Soon he had an original song for the album written by Ted Leo and seven Ukrainian punk bands. 

“They are getting me music while the bombs are falling. I’ve been humbled and amazed by their resilience and strength.”

Read more at the Daily Times about this collaborative album.

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