Heather “Lil’ Mama” Hardy began studying the piano at age six and picked up the violin at nine. In 1983 she auditioned for the Manhattan School of Music as a double major on piano and violin and was accepted on both, but was required to choose only one. She began as a piano major under Zenon Fishbein and after one year realized that though piano was her great love; she was more driven on the violin. Heather returned the following year as a violin major under Raphael Bronstein. While at school she began to play in the subway to make money while collaborating with different blues and rock musicians. This was the turning point at which she began to explore improvisation on the violin, and her unique style emerged.
1984 she joined The False Prophets internationally famous Punk band and began touring the US and Europe. Also at this time she played regularly for Allen Ginsberg, and doing recordings for a number of New York bands .
After moving to Tucson in 1990, she joined the Sam Taylor Band, originally as a featured violin soloist, but soon becoming a vocalist as well. Her smooth ambient violin playing that contrasted with her tasty, soulful “wah-wah” blues solos captivated audiences and helped the 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 resided in New York once again and performing and touring with The Lil' Mama Band , as well as The Sam Taylor Band . She also was a member of such groups as Marble , The American Roots Orchestra , Tim Beattie's Big Dog ..and many more .
Heather has been featured on over 200 albums since 1983.
In 2003 she performed throughout California at 6 of The Amity Foundation's Prison projects .
This tour landed her back in Tucson , where she continues to reside today . However she maintains a steady performance schedule in the New York area for about 3 months a year .
And continues to work with the Amity foundation to bring music to prisons and their Therapeutic Communities throughout AZ , NM and California
Currently, Heather tours internationally and has released 5 albums of original song