Iowa native Les Aldrich is a graduate of Jefferson High School in Jefferson, Iowa, and was a student of Jack Oatts, who is credited with starting the jazz education movement in the state of Iowa. He is a graduate of the University of Northern Iowa, where he earned a degree in music education with a jazz specialization, and VanderCook College of Music, where he earned a masters degree in music education. He studied as a Clarinet major with Jack Graham, as well as studying saxophone with Mike Pendowski and Donald Wendt, and Flute with Jeffrey Cohen. He has studied jazz arranging and composition with Jack Oatts, Rick Lawn, Bob Washut, and Wes Hensel.
As a performer on flute, clarinet, saxophones, and keyboards, Les has played in various types of musical groups from classical to rock and roll. He has performed with Dick Oatts, Clark Terry, Nick Brignola, Jim Oatts, Paul McKee, and the Des Moines Big Band, as well as numerous local area musical groups. In addition to many compositions published by C. L. Barnhouse, Les has written music for the Iowa High School Music Association, and the Celebration Iowa Singers and Jazz Band, as well as numerous commissions.
Les retired in 2013 after teaching for 30 years, all in schools in the state of Iowa. He and his wife, Tammi, live in Waterloo, Iowa. They are the proud parents of two sons, Tony and Andrew.