A jazz and nightlife aficionado, Oscar Cahén played guitar and clarinet. Gerry Waldston, who apprenticed with Cahén at the commercial art studio Rapid, Grip and Batten in 1944, recalls that “he was crazy for music and when he drew the stuff he could shake it out of his elbow like it was nothing—nothing!” This facility is evident in the immediate, gestural quality of his sketch of a pianist. Although the portrait’s racial stereotyping may be objectionable today, it was not intended to be disrespectful by 1943 standards. In the assured, graceful curves of the man’s arm, back, and dignified, elevated head, which contrast with the jumble of the rapidly moving fingers, Cahén has captured the musician’s self-confidence and dexterity. In 1956 Cahen was living in Oakville, Ontario, but he ventured back to Montreal as an illustrator-reporter to depict its club scene.