Posted by Khris Dodge on Apr 08, 2022
Heather Hardy is known for her captivating smooth ambient violin playing as well as her appealing soulful “wah-wah” blues solos.
She recently spoke with us about growing up, her musical background, and how she came to be one of the most sought-after violinists across several genres. “My musical education began at the Westport School of Music at age 6 on piano. I began violin at 9 and by the time I was 11 I was studying privately on both instruments. I knew then that I wanted to play music forever. In high school I continued on piano and violin.”
“I then went to Manhattan School of Music in New York and studied piano under Zenon Fishbein. After 3 semesters I decided that I was a little more driven as a violinist and studied the violin under the renowned Raphael Brostein. During these years I began to play in the subway for a way to earn some money. This led me to start playing many varieties of music (other than classical). Slowly but surely my direction changed from classical to improvisation and more contemporary music. I started getting gigs and sessions and joined a few bands. In 1986 I was hired by a well known punk band in New York City, the False Prophets, and toured the United States and Canada. The following year we toured and played in almost every country in Europe including east Berlin prior to the Wall coming down.”
“After that I went to Tucson and met the Legendary Blues Man Sam Taylor. He hired me, we began to record and tour extensively, and I became passionate about the blues. Sam was my mentor for 25 years ... till his passing. He got me to start singing and truly changed my life as a professional musician. My reputation and exposure through Sam is still felt in my career.”
During that time, she helped the Sam Taylor Band win the 1995 Arizona Blues Showdown. That was followed by taking second place in the International Blues Talent Competition in Memphis, and a European tour. By 1996, Heather had formed her Lil' Mama Band, taking it to New York in 1997. In 2000, she was inducted into the Arizona Blues Hall of Fame. 
Heather has been featured on over 200 albums and has released five albums of original songs including her new Heather Lil’ Mama Hardy LIVE in Tucson.
Here’s a brief peek of that album:
Based in Tucson, Heather has also continued working on projects in New York and California, and other cities. 
Influences in her life include her father’s most impressionable advice: “He told me not to let the amount of money you could make be a factor. And that if you are driven and in love with what you do, you won’t need as much money because you are happy, and you will be more likely to be successful and the money will come. So I never really even thought of music as a career, I just wanted to forever become a better musician.”