CHARG Resource Center Clinic and Offices 709 E. 12th Avenue Denver, CO 80203 303-830-8805 | CHARG Drop-In Center 920 Emerson Street Denver, CO 80218 303-830-2130


The poster announcing the tribute to Dave Babak, 2011.

The poster announcing the tribute to Dave Babak, 2011.

2011 Event photos 

CHARG Resource Center and Dave Babak’s historic collaboration helped the homeless & the mentally ill find harmony & hope in music, and resulted in magic. As a psychologist and musician, Dave believed that “music activates a different part of the brain than other activities.” These recordings, produced under the label “Starfish on Broadway”, are a testament to Dave’s dedication and vision.

His ingenuity in “sound studios” that ranged from a basement store-room, a one-room apartment, and the streets of Denver manage to capture the voices & excitement of musicians, struggling with mental illness, expressing parts of themselves long lost.

The sound quality and musicianship are excellent due to the mastering capability of Grammy Award engineer Phil Klum. All writers and performers on the Starfish label are local Denver talent, including featured headliners Hazel Miller and Erica Brown. Collectively, they reflect a wide variety of musical styles and give the recordings their wide appeal.

Among its honors, Starfish won the “Howie the Harp” Arts Award at the SHAMSA Alternatives Conference in 2004, and was nominated for the Heroes in the Fight award in 2007. In February 2009, Governor Bill Ritter declared a “Starfish on Broadway” Day. Later that same year, Dave Babak passed away, leaving a gaping hole in our musical hearts. The first CD, Art of the Gifted, completed in 1988, and the two subsequent Starfish CDs, completed in 2003 & 2009 respectively, are available at CHARG Resource Center for a small donation.

Click play button to hear song

At Last
(Mack Gordon & Harry Warren): Vocals – Claire Gibson, guitar- Dan Treanor, bass-Hymie Smith, drums-Norm Hill, organ-Tom Capek

Click play button to hear song

Healthy Blues
(Dave Babak & 15 friends from CHARG): Vocals- Clare Gibson, guitar-Dan Treanor, bass-Gail Adams, drums- Norm Hill, organ-Tom Capek, electric slide solo – Phil Klum

“Dave Babak’s life work was to give a voice to talented people who faced the challenge of mental illness in their life’s journey. Thank you, Dave, for infecting us with your enthusiasm for music and for life. You will always be with us.”   David Burgess


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