Leonard Gagliardi was one of the top high school jazz educators during the formation of jazz education in California. He started his teaching at Poly high school in 1953 and then to Reseda high from 1955-1985, when he retired from education. His all around program of band’s and orchestra was considered one of southern Ca. finest and many students went on to Valley College and Cal State Northridge to become professional musicians.
Leonard continued to play saxophone professionally throughout his educational tenure in the valley. He went to college in the San Jose area and had a great working relationship with Bob Dilworth, his feeder program director at Sequoia junior high. Leonard and Bob both received Grammy lifetime educational awards for their contributions to music education in 2002.