Dave McKeen, of Cambridge, has taken home his third gold medal in the National Veterans Creative Arts Contest for his guitar-and-harmonica rendition of “Sukiyaki,” an international hit from the early 1960s performed by the Japanese crooner Kyu Sakamoto.
Dave McKeen, of Cambridge, playing his guitar and harmonica. Photo by Austin Gerth
McKeen will also perform at the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival in Buffalo, New York, on Sunday, Oct. 29.
The National Veterans Creative Arts Competition is run by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. It’s open to any who are enrolled in VA
health care programs. The VA sometimes uses creative arts as a therapy method for veterans enrolled in its programs.
Veterans from roughly 22 states compete in the competition each year.
McKeen has been entering performances in the competition for several years. He took a bronze medal the first time he tried it, which motivated him to keep going for the gold. He’s accomplished the feat three times.
McKeen submitted four entries to the competition this year. In addition to “Sukiyaki,” he sent a dramatic piece