Pianist Lil Hardin Armstrong was one of the most important musicians in the history of early jazz.
Of course famous for her musical and personal connection to Louis Armstrong, her influence extends far past this and, in this article, Chicago-based singer and writer Christy Bennett takes a deep dive into her fascinating life story.
Lillian ‘lil’ Hardin was born February 2nd, 1898 in Memphis, Tennessee. Her parents weren’t particularly musical. Lil once said her mother, Dempsey Hardin was “only musical to a point where she thought she could sing soprano.”
After her father passed away, two year old Lil moved to a boarding house up the street with her mother. At this boarding house, Lil had access to a pump organ and harmonium and soon revealed her natural musical prowess.
In what would begin Lil’s journey as a consummate student, Dempsey recognized her musical aptitude and put her into piano lessons with a local school teacher, Ms. Violet White.
Ms. White helped develop Lil’s love of music but did little to teach her proper technique. As she recalled, “I later learned that they had taught me all the wrong things, but they meant well.”
When Lil outgrew Ms. White’s instruction, Dempsey purchased an upright piano and enrolled Lil into Ms. Hook’s School of Music. While attending Virginia Avenue Grade School, Lil also began playing organ at their church, Lebanon Baptist Church. Those in attendance took notice of young Lil’s solid sense of time.
“I played Onward Christian Soldiers with a definitive beat and the pastor used to look at me over his glasses.” ~Lillian Hardin Armstrong
Lil was also a gifted academic student and graduated early from Kortrecht High School. In 1914, she moved to Nashville, Tennessee to attend the prestigious Fisk University. She studied music and liberal arts at Fisk, but ran into frequent criticism for her poor technique.
While Lil was at college, Dempsey remarried and moved to Chicago. In the summer of 1918, Lil came to visit while on break from school. She soon fell in love with the city.
“I made it my business to go out for a daily stroll and look this heaven over. Chicago meant just that to me- its beautiful brick and stone buildings, excitement, people moving swiftly and things happening.”
While out for a daily stroll, Lil stumbled across Jones’ Music Store. As she browsed the rows and rows of sheet music, she hummed a popular tune of the day.
The store demonstrator noticed and began playing the tune. Unimpressed with his rendition, she asked if she could try playing it herself. He obliged and she impressed him so much that he offered her a job as the store demonstrator.
“Almost every day there was a jam session and I took charge of every piano player that dared come in.” ~Lillian Hardin Armstrong
The position at Jones’ Music Store put Lil in connection with the Chicago music scene in a multitude of ways. Not only did they sell all of the popular music of the day- which Lil took full advantage of, learning every piece of music in the store – but they also rented rehearsal space and did the booking for several music venues.
In her first year working at the store, pianist Jelly Roll Morton came into town and rehearsed at the store. Hardin was mesmerized by his playing and paid close attention to every note. After he finished playing, he looked at Lil as if to say, “Let that be a lesson to you.”
It proved to be a lesson Lil would never forget. She thought of him as her greatest influence and described herself as a “heavy” piano player from that point forward.
“They played loud and long weaving in and out of the melody was a cheese and rhythm and seemingly enjoying every minute of it.” ~Lillian Hardin Armstrong
Describing the New Orleans Creole Band some time later, Lawrence Duhé’s New Orleans Creole Band came to Chicago. The Jones’ booked the group at the Pekin Cafe (also known as the Pekin Theater or the Pekin Inn).
In New Orleans, it was rare to find a piano at a musical venue and as a result, the traditional instrumentation of a New Orleans-based band did not include the instrument.
However, it was common for customers of the Pekin to make requests of popular tunes.
Singers like Alberta Hunter and Ethel Waters were often featured and “these vocalists challenged their musicians with a new rapidly changing repertoire of popular song material that was pouring from the northern publishing companies.” (Chicago Jazz, William Howland Kenney)
The band had to add a pianist. After a few days of unsuccessful auditions, Ms. Jones suggested that Lil try. Barely old enough to visit taverns and appearing even younger due to her slender frame, Lil went to audition with the group. When she sat down at the piano, she asked, “What key?”
Surprised, Duhé told her, “I’ll knock twice, then start playing.” Lil took her cue and had no trouble finding the band and staying with them. Eddie Garland, the group’s bass player, said it best, “Listen at the little ol gal!” Before long, Lil was earning her nickname, Hot Lil Miss.
“[Lil] could play anything in this world… She was marvelous.” ~Alberta Hunter
Lil was always incredibly self-deprecating when it came to her music. However, from an early age, she had a remarkable time-feel. She was a master of the “good ol’ New Orleans four beat” style.
The piano’s role in the early jazz coming out of New Orleans was to lay down an even articulation of all four beats without accenting any individual beat.
“Sometimes I’d get the urge to run up and down the piano,” she once noted, but King Oliver would always say, “we already have a clarinet in the band!”
She’s often discounted because her playing wasn’t as creative as Earl Hines on the Hot Seven recordings but her style came out of the role that pianists were given in a traditional group.
This was a role that allowed women a place in jazz at the time. Most of the musicians that Lil worked with did not read or write music.
She was like many other women of the day, who found a socially acceptable place in music through classical piano and later was utilized by the bands that needed her skills to accompany popular singers of the day.
Not only was she able to read and write music, she had an incredible ear that allowed her to keep up with the “freak music” she played at bars.
Lil also played an important role in early jazz by helping King Oliver and Louis Armstrong notate their compositions. An artist could not make money off of a composition unless it was transcribed and submitted for copyright.
“Man, Lil didn’t know how much she could swing.” ~Preston Jackson
Thrilled with her new life as a musician, Lil began earning a reputation around the Southside of Chicago for being a great pianist.
“Monteudie [Eddie Garland], Tubby [Hall], and I beat out a rhythm that put the Bechuana tribes of Africa to shame.”
The New Orleans Creole Band was packing the Pekin every night and word was spreading about the band and the Hot Lil Miss. Three weeks after beginning at the Pekin, they had a better offer for a stint at the DeLuxe Cafe.
The main draw for the band was Thomas “Sugar Johnny” Smith. Smith was a cornet player known for a technique that was popular at the time often referred to as “growling”. Cornet players would create the sound with a rolled “r” while using a plunger mute.
Sadly, as the band’s popularity continued to grow, their featured player was dying of tuberculosis. Another New Orleans brass player, Joe ‘King’ Oliver was in Chicago playing with Bill Johnson’s Creole Band at Royal Gardens.
King Oliver was also a master of the growling cornet, and filled Sugar Johnny’s seat. It wasn’t long before “King” Oliver was living up to his name.
He began negotiating work for the group and essentially took over as the bandleader . Soon after, they were given an offer for one of the best venues in the city, Billy Bottom’s Dreamland Cafe.
“The members of the Race who patronize cabarets have always taken pride in the particular resort as operated by Billy Bottoms.
Residents and business men of the Race throughout the city could feel safe taking their close friends and the members of their families there with the knowledge that nothing would be allowed by word or by act to cause complaint.”
Oliver became close with Lil, taking her under his wing and teaching her lessons she would never have learned from her mother.
Once, Lil had a controlling boyfriend that came to the gig and took one of her shoes so that she would have to wait for him before she could leave. Oliver put a stop to that by banning him from the bandstand.
It was to his advantage to keep Lil close: Oliver was a great player, but couldn’t read or write music well. He needed Lil to go through music with him before bringing it into the band.
In the years to come, Lil would help him organize the band.
“Lil did most of Joe’s recording and helped him arrange his band.” ~Preston Jackson
In 1921, Royal Gardens closed for renovations.
Oliver lined up a gig in California through New Orleans connection Kid Ory. Lil went with the band to play a stint at the Pergola Ballroom in San Francisco.
The band was not well received by California patrons. The venue brought in their orchestrator to find out why patrons were refraining from filling the dance floor.
Assuming the band knew nothing about music, the orchestrator brought in a metronome and asked the band to play. This infuriated Lil. She proceeded to play a piece by Bach perfectly in time with the metronome convincing the manager once and for all that the audience was the problem, not the band.
Frustrated by the cold reception and equally cold weather on the coast, Lil returned to Chicago to join violinist Mae Brady at Dreamland when the six month stint at the Pergola was up.
Oliver replaced her for the band’s Los Angeles engagement with California-based pianist Bertha Gonsoulin. During this time, Lil wrote “Sweet Lovin’ Man” which was recorded first by the New Orleans Rhythm Kings and later by King Oliver’s band.
In 1922, when the renovations at Royal Gardens were complete and the band was called back to Chicago, Lil was soon asked to rejoin the group.
While in Chicago, Lil had begun a romance with cabaret singer Jimmie Johnson. When she returned from California, the two got married. Their relationship was strained by Johnson’s drinking problem and proved to be short-lived.
The same year that Lil and Jimmie were wed, Oliver paid for a young protege of his from New Orleans to join the band at Royal Gardens (now Lincoln Gardens).
The young cornetist was none other than Louis Armstrong, or Little Louis, as the band called him. Little Louis did not make a big impression on Lil. She thought he was overweight and hated his style. However, she would soon become the “first great architect” of this talented cornetist’s life.
In 1923, the Oliver Band went into the studio to record for Gennett Records. This was the first recording the band made and the technology of the time made studio time an incredibly stressful work day.
Recording acoustically meant that the band members were positioned in a way that ensured the best balance placing the loudest players (Louis) much farther from the device and creating an unfamiliar formation.
The room was also kept a balmy 85 degrees fahrenheit in order to keep the wax soft. Tracks were limited to three minutes, so everything had to be timed carefully. After a long stressful day, they had created a recording that would serve as our only record of the band at that time.
By this point, Louis and Lil were becoming close and spending time together outside of the bandstand. Not long after the recording session, the band discovered that Oliver was skimming $20 (roughly $317 today) off of each member’s weekly pay.
Everyone besides Lil and Louis quit the band.
Louis adored Oliver and looked at him as a mentor. He felt indebted to Oliver for bringing him up from New Orleans and giving him a job. Lil stood by her man.
“[Louis] is a sort of fellow that didn’t have much confidence in himself to begin with. He didn’t believe in himself. So I was sort of standing at the bottom of the ladder holding it and watching him climb.”
~Lil Hardin Armstrong
By 1924, romance between Louis and Lil had come into full bloom and the two decided to get married. They took a three week working honeymoon touring with the Oliver band and once they returned Lil had a new plan for Louis.
Oliver had confessed to Lil that he kept Louis as the second cornet in the band because he knew Louis was a better player. Lil didn’t want him playing second fiddle to Oliver anymore.
It would be years before she shared Oliver’s confession with Louis, but she helped him leave the group, find another band in town with whom he could play first cornet and reached out to Fletcher Henderson in New York to see about getting Louis a spot in a more prominent band.
The move to New York with Henderson’s band would prove a pivotal moment in the young cornetists career.
“I give Lil credit, because Louis was not nationally known. He was only known around Chicago and the south, but when he left Joe and joined Fletcher Henderson, he became known here and abroad.”
While Louis was in New York, Lil wasted no time. She formed a group called Lil’s Hot Shots and they performed at Dreamland and other venues in Chicago. According to Ralph Peer, she also got to work lining up other opportunities.
“[Lil Hardin] came to me and said, ‘Louis has an offer to come to New York- Henderson’s orchestra- could you give us recording work there?”
They recorded as the Red Onion Jazz Babies and featured singer Alberta Hunter, trombonists Charles Irvis and Aaron Thompson, banjoist Buddy Christian, clarinetist Buster Bailey and none other than Sidney Bechet on clarinet and soprano sax.
“That woman was in my corner at all times.”~Louis Armstrong
When Lil got frustrated with the lack of recognition that Louis was getting in New York, she made plans for him to return to Chicago.
“Fletcher never mentioned any of his musicians in his billing and I cared less about Louis playing with a big name band if his name wasn’t anywhere to be seen.”
While in New York, Louis had taken up with a chorus girl and was somewhat resistant to returning to Chicago at first. But Lil persisted and talked the owner of Dreamland into booking a band under her leadership that would bill Louis as the star and pay him as such.
November 6th of 1925, Lil sent a telegram to Louis that read, “COME BY STARTING DATE OR NOT AT ALL.” He came by the start date and was greeted by a sign that read “Madame Lil Armstrong’s Dreamland Syncopators featuring Louis Armstrong, the World’s Greatest Cornetist.”
Louis was embarrassed, but the band was a sensation.
“I guess I had a lot of nerve.”~Lillian Hardin Armstrong
Dreamland was the perfect place to launch Louis’ career. As Lil said, it was the place to “hear, see and be seen”. Musicians from all over the city would come to hear them play.
Lil turned this success into momentum when she got Okeh Records to record the group with Louis as the leader in 1925. Lil’s Dreamland Syncopators were now Louis Armstrong’s Hot Five.
“Armstrong’s Hot Five recordings are the most influential records in pop music,” trumpeter Nicholas Payton has said.
Despite his initial resistance, Louis later recalled, “You can imagine how glad I was to join my wife Lil and her fine band. To me, it was better than Fletcher’s.”
“As a composer, Lil Hardin is an unrecognized master who composed some of the most interesting pieces of this period.
When her works and others of the Chicago period are studied, analyzed and compared, she may well be shown to have invented some of the characteristic Chicago sounds that were distinct from New Orleans tradition.”~Frank Tirro
Most of the tunes on the Hot Five recordings were written by Lil and or Louis. One in particular became a controversial topic, “Struttin with Some Barbecue”.
Lil was originally listed as the songwriter, but later recordings cited Louis as the composer. Sharing a last name was not helpful.
While Lil won the case, Louis claimed that he actually wrote the tune and that he only conceded because she needed the money more than him.
While Louis had a story about late night snacking, many have also pointed out that the uncommon (at the time) use of the major seventh of the tonic chord in the first phrase implies a classical ear may have composed the melody.
To some extent, most of the tunes were a bit of a group effort. As Kid Ory put it, “Often we didn’t know the tunes when we got to the studio: one of us would suggest a melody; we’d run through it once then record it.”
Shortly after returning from New York, Louis decided he didn’t want his wife playing in jazz clubs any more. Limited to working on recordings, in 1926 Lil found a way around exclusive recording contracts. These contracts prevented the band from recording with other labels and limited how often they could record.
She billed the Hot Five as Lil’s Hotshots and made a recording for Vocalion. She also organized a recording for Columbia Records with a group billed as the New Orleans Wanderers. This group consisted of Johnny Dodds, Kid Ory, Johnny St. Cyr, George Mitchell and Joe Clark.
All of the arrangements on the recording were written by Lil, but Columbia merely listed the last name Armstrong as composer, implying Louis’ involvement with the album.
This led to Okeh Records having a word with Louis about his breach of contract. This particular incident caused a fight between Louis and Lil that ended with Louis striking her. Not content to stay home, Lil went back to school to finish her degree at the Chicago Musical College in 1927.
By 1929, she had earned a teaching diploma as well as a postgraduate diploma. Sadly, while doing dishes, Lil broke a glass and permanently injured a tendon, stopping her classical career in its tracks.
In 1931, Lil continued her musical studies by studying arranging with Zilner T. Randolph. This connection led to him becoming Louis Armstrong’s music director.
While visiting her husband who was playing a stint in California, she made a little known recording with Jimmie Rodgers that also features Louis, “Blue Yodel #9”.
Shortly after this trip, Louis and Lil separated. Louis had taken to traveling and living with his latest mistress, Alpha Smith and his infidelities were finally more than Lil could take.
“Louis was a little wild in those days and took to calling me old fashioned because I wouldn’t go along with it.”
~Lillian Hardin Armstrong
After parting ways with Louis, Lil went back to performing publicly as a jazz pianist.
1932 was a busy year for her. She recorded as a vocalist accompanied by Clarence Williams. She also guest starred at the Harlem Opera House in New York with Ralph Cooper’s Band.
She played the Lincoln Theatre in Philadelphia on the same bill as Bessie Smith and the Royal Theater in Baltimore with Alberta Hunter as well.
She wrote what could be argued to be her most famous composition, “Just for a Thrill” with Broadway star Avon Long. It was not a huge hit at the time, but when Ray Charles later recorded it, it became a smashing success.
In 1933, Lil toured the Eastern United States with Connie’s Hot Chocolates with writing partner Avon Long.
They performed as a team in the show and went on to have a weekly feature on radio stations WMCA and WCR. They would continue this program on WMAC through 1934.
In 1934, she accepted an offer to bring an all female group to Harlem’s Apollo Theater. The only problem was that she didn’t have an all female band. Cellist/bassist Olivia Schipp, who was head of the Negro Women’s Orchestral and Civic Association, provided her with the ensemble.
She continued to work with a few of the women from the group in later years including saxophonist Alma Scott Long (mother of Hazel Scott), trombonist Leora Meoux Henderson (Fletcher Henderson’s wife) and trumpeter Dolly Jones Hutchinson (first female trumpeter to be recorded).
These women would form the Harlem Harlicans and provide music for a production at the movie houses called Black and White Jamboree. Lil brought her All Girl Orchestra to the Regal Theater in Chicago.
The novelty of an all girl group was very popular at the time and may have helped line up more work and bigger venues and the quality certainly was not lacking.
She may have grown frustrated with reviews that spent as much time comparing the band to their male counterparts as they did writing about the music or performance.
One review noted, “They offer plenty of jazz and swing and will entertain you with the late song hits as capably as any of the masculine orchestras.”
By 1935, Lil stopped touring with the all girl orchestra and formed a band utilizing the all guy members that had previously made up violinist Stuff Smith’s band.
This band included Jonah Jones on trumpet and often would advertise using the marketing ploy she had learned from Columbia Records in earlier years: Jonah Jones was billed as Louis Armstrong II in large letters with the rest of the information about the group in tiny letters.
Promotional photos from this group featured Lil in a slinky white gown with a top hat and baton in front of a sharply dressed orchestra. The group toured and played lengthy stints in Detroit, Buffalo and other large cities in the US.
1936 brought Lil back to Buffalo for a stint with a five-piece band at the Silver Grill. The following year, Lil moved to New York and became the house pianist for Decca Records. Over the next four years she would be featured on recordings with the likes of Red Allen, Chu Berry, Buster Bailey and Jonah Jones (Louis Armstrong II) as well as leading her own groups.
1938 proved to be a tumultuous year for Lil.
She made a few more recordings for Decca but soon returned to Chicago because her mother was ill. Decie passed away in July. Shortly after her mother’s passing, she learned that Joe “King” Oliver had also passed away.
A few months later, she finalized her divorce from Louis, after seven years apart. She waived her right to alimony, but sued for the rights to songs they had co written.
Louis’ then manager, Joe Glaser, is said to have lied to Louis about how much Lil was asking for the publishing rights and the court case caused another rift between the two.
“She didn’t dwell on any setbacks or adversity. She just went from one thing to another immediately and with new vigor and new vim and great enthusiasm.”~George Clark
In spite of all of the difficulties in her personal life, by November of 1938, Lil opened a restaurant in the heart of Chicago’s Bronzeville called Lil Armstrong’s Swing Shack.
The menu boasted items with titles around the theme of swing music and the restaurant was situated right by the Mecca Flats, a building made famous by poet Gwendolyn Brooks’ poem, “In the Mecca”.
It seems to have been a short-lived venture, which is no surprise given subway construction on State Street and the lasting effects of the Great Depression.
“Lil Armstrong’s Swing Shack. Come on out and beat your chops on our swing food. Our meals are a solid sender right in the groove.”
Lil shifted gears again in early 1940 when she decided to take a tailoring class in New York. She found herself to be in yet another male-dominated field.
When the teacher assigned everyone in the class to make a pair of sample pants (included the belt and pockets but they only went to the knee), Lil said, “I don’t know anybody that can wear pants that little…. Give me the list for the whole suit. I intend to make the whole suit.”
To which the teacher laughed and said, “Do you know how long it takes to make a whole suit?” and Lil replied, “I’ll be here.” She made a suit that went on exhibition and the teacher declared she was the quickest pupil he’d ever taught.
In 1948, Lil organized her debut as a fashion designer. She hosted a runway show and invited the press. At the end of the night, someone in attendance asked her to play a blues. “That disgusted me. All that time and money I threw away. Play a blues,” she later said.
She took this as a sign that she would not be taken seriously as a designer, so she went back to composing, performing and teaching. However, she continued to make clothing for her friends and family. She even made Louis a tux.
“[The tux] was a perfect fit… back then.”~ Louis Armstrong
Throughout the 1940’s Lil continued to play music as well. She played lengthy stints at venues in Milwaukee, Chicago, Detroit, Denver, Ventura, Kansas City and Los Angeles mostly as a solo artist.
She also remarried but it was short lived. According to Lil, “He wasn’t a musician. Don’t think he even liked music.”
In 1952 Lil traveled to Paris after meeting a French man in Milwaukee. As she said, “I went there for three months, stayed for four years.” While in Europe she toured with Sidney Bechet and Zutty Singleton. They recorded “New Orleans in Paris” for Vogue Records. Louis also made his way through Europe during the 50s and they even performed together in Italy in 1955.
She played the Moulin Rouge in Paris as one of her final engagements in Europe. While she was in Europe, her aunt took care of the Chicago home she had bought with Louis.
When her aunt passed away in 1956, she returned to Chicago and continued to play all of the major venues in the city. She also continued to teach voice, piano and French.
“In a class to herself, Lil is a real spark plug and always comes through with flying colors. Star that she is, makes her a party jewel.” ~ Ted Ston, Chicago Defender, 1959
Lil continued to perform well into the sixties, touring in Canada as well as headlining benefit concerts in Chicago and touring with Red Saunders.
In 1961, after prompting from jazz journalist, writer and record producer Chris Albertson, she recorded for Riverside Records. This album also resulted in a friendship between Lil and Albertson.
Lil asked Albertson to help her with her autobiography. When she began work on her autobiography, she sent chapters to Albertson each month over the course of several years. At one point, a publisher had started negotiations for a book deal, but Lil decided the work was too personal and declined to publish.
August 27th, 1971, Lil died while performing “St. Louis Blues” with the Red Saunders Band at a televised tribute concert to her recently deceased ex-husband, Louis Armstrong.
Louis had died fewer than two months prior to the performance.
“You know, it’s a funny thing: I’ve been on the same level all my life. I will never be a great star but I’ve always been a living star all through my life…
Even in school, I made the highest grades in school from 1st grade on up til I finished high school. Always a little star shining just enough for people to see me.
No, I’ll never make a lot of money or be a great big star. But every so often, things happen to keep me still in it.”
~Lil Hardin Armstrong
Sources (which also make up a suggested reading list for this topic):
Albertson, Chris. “Louis Armstrong: The Quintessential Entertainer” Routes Magazine. https://routes-mag.com/issue-1994-9/ September 1994. Accessed April 16th, 2021.
Albertson, Chris. “Memphis Music Hall of Fame.” Lil Hardin Armstrong, 6 November 2014, https://memphismusichalloffame.com/inductee/lilhardinarmstrong/ Accessed 3 June 2021.
Chris Albertson. “Stomp Off.” Various Articles. 23 September 2009, https://stomp-off.blogspot.com/ Accessed 8 July 2021.
Berrett, Joshua. Louis Armstrong and Paul Whiteman Two Kings of Jazz. Yale University Press, 2004.
Calloway, Earl. “Tuesday Rights for Jazz Star” Chicago Defender. August 30, 1971.
Hardy, D. Antoinette. Black Women in American Bands and Orchestras. Scarecrow Press Inc. 1998.
Harper, Lucius C. “Dustin off the News” Chicago Defender, November 12, 1938.
Kenney, William Howland. Chicago Jazz: A Cultural History 1904-1930. Oxford University Press, 1994.
Macy, Marty and Draper, Paul. “Harlem Harlicans provide music for Black and White Jamboree” The Boston Globe July 7, 1934.
McCuster, John. Creole Trombone: Kid Ory and the Early Years of Jazz. University Press of Mississippi, 2012.
Morgenstern, Dan. Louis & Lil: A Couple Making Musical History. 2015. Video. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/webcast-7647/>.
Pick, Margaret Moos. “Riverwalk Jazz Collection” My Heart: the Story of Lil Hardin Armstrong. 23 September 2009, https://riverwalkjazz.stanford.edu/?q=program/my-heart-story-lil-hardin-armstrong Accessed 23 July 2021.
Peyton, Dave. “The Musical Bunch” Chicago Defender, November 24, 1928.
Pinfold, Mike. Louis Armstrong: His Life and Times. Omnibus Press, 1987.
Riccardi, Ricky. Heart Full of Rhythm: The Big Band Years of Louis Armstrong. W. W. Norton and Company, 2014.
Scott, Patrick. “The Hot Lil Miss” The Globe Magazine. September 18, 1965.
Shapiro, Nat and Hentoff, Nat. Hear Me Talkin To Ya. Dover Publications, 2012.
Teachout, Terry. Pops A Life of Louis Armstrong. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009.
Thomas Brothers. Louis Armstrong Master of Modernism. Oxford University Press, 2020.
Tucker, Sherrie. A Feminist Perspective on New Orleans Jazz Women. Center for Research University of Kansas, September 30, 2004.
Various Contributors, The Art of Record Production: An Introductory Reader for a New Academic Field. Simon Frith and Simon Zagorski-Thomas, 2016.
1 thought on “Discover Lil Hardin Armstrong | Profile of a Jazz Piano Original”
Great story, Christy. I was unaware of Lil Hardin but was mesmerized by her skills, determination, talents and tenacity. Especially interesting to note her contributions to jazz in Chicago, while constantly discriminated against as a female in jazz performance, management and composition. Thanks for your research and giving me the opportunity to learn about this amazing woman and artist.