Here is the story of “Hot Miss Lil” Hardin Armstrong, legendary jazz pianist, composer, and bandleader–and a female pioneer on the music stage.
Ever since she was a young girl, Lil Hardin played music with a beat. She jammed at home, at church, and even at her first job in a music store. At a time when women’s only place in jazz was at the microphone, Lil earned a spot playing piano in Chicago’s hottest band. She went on to achieve fame as a bandleader and composer, and “swung” with many of the greatest early jazz musicians, including her husband, Louis Armstrong. Award-winning author Mara Rockliff and acclaimed illustrator Michele Wood brilliantly capture the rhythms and passions of this jazz pioneer and legend whose music and story deserve to be heard. This biography contains strong back matter which includes archival images, further information about Lil, a list of some of her songs and recordings, a timeline, an author’s note, and a bibliography.