Lillian Hardin

Lil Hardin-Armstrong was the most prominent woman in early jazz. She played piano, composed, and arranged for

most of the important Hot Bands from New Orleans. While working at a music store in Chicago, she was invited to play with Sugar Johnny's Creole Orchestra, from there she went to Freddie Keppard's Original Creole Orchestra, and then led her own band at the Dreamland Cafe at 3520 South State Street in Chicago.
In 1921 she joined King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band where she met Louis Armstrong.
They were married in 1924.
Lil was Louis Armstrong's second wife and she is generally credited with persuading Louis to be more ambitious, and leave King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band.
Lil was a major contributor to Louis Armstrong's Hot Five and Hot Seven recordings.
She played piano and sang occasionally,
and composed several of the groups major songs, including "Struttin' with Some Barbeque".
Lil was the leader of several other recording groups, including Lil's Hot Shots and the New Orleans Wanderers.