Nola Mills Profile

Rosa Shiels
2 Sep 2018

Over the past century there have been, and continue to be, many notable and several dazzling blues harp players. On the chromatic harmonica, though, two names stand out above the rest for their consummate skills and versatility: American Larry Adler and Belgian-born Toots Thielemans.

Thielemans never made it down this way but Adler visited twice, and on both occasions his tour took him to Christchurch. The first time around, in the early 1950s, a little girl was busting to meet him. The girl was Nola Mills.

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Nola Mills.
Photo credit: Nola Mills collection
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Nola Mills - Live with the Barry Brinson Quartet, a BBC Radio 4 four-star album.
Photo credit: Nola Mills collection
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Nola's harmonicas
Photo credit: GW Wardrop
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The Classical Jazz Quartet with Nola Mills - Finale
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The tiniest harmonica.
Photo credit: GW Wardrop
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Nola Mills' tiny harmonica.
Photo credit: GW Wardrop
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Nola Mills.
Photo credit: Nola Mills collection
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The Classical Jazz Quartet with Nola Mills - Lullaby Of Birdland
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Nola's harmonicas.
Photo credit: GW Wardrop
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Classical Jazz Quartet with Nola Mills.
Photo credit: Nola Mills collection
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Nola Mills.
Photo credit: GW Wardrop
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Nola Mills.
Photo credit: Nola Mills collection
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