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