Little Melba and Her Big Trombone
A biographical picture book about Melba Doretta Liston, a young girl who felt rhythm and music in her bones, and was constantly daydreaming beats and lyrics. At seven years old, she was introduced to the trombone, a large instrument for her tiny size, but she persevered with practice and grit, perfecting her art day and night. Her love of music and trombone flourished and Melba used music as an outlet for her feelings when others chided her, jealous of her talents.
At age seventeen, she was invited to tour the country with a new band led by trumpet player, Gerald Wilson. Traveling as the only woman amid an all-male jazz ensemble was not always easy, but Melba didn’t give up. She and her band encountered blatant racism when they traveled to the South, but her desire to play the instrument she loved kept her motivated even in the darkest of moments.
I hadn’t known Melba’s story prior to reading this book and was happy to share this story of a strong female role model in history with my daughter. The pictures are engaging and succinct text on each page makes this a quick but informative read.