Crosscut Tout: A tour of rock history through the lens of a Northwest treasure

Photographer Jini Dellaccio, now 93, helped document the rise of rock 'n' roll, including the Seattle scene. She will appear Saturday (March 12) at the Northwest Film Forum with filmmakers who are making a movie about her life.

Crosscut archive image.

Rock-music photographer Jini Dellaccio: a Northwest legend of sorts, and the subject of a documentary in the works.

Photographer Jini Dellaccio, now 93, helped document the rise of rock 'n' roll, including the Seattle scene. She will appear Saturday (March 12) at the Northwest Film Forum with filmmakers who are making a movie about her life.

March is Women’s History Month, and what better way to celebrate locally than by recognizing and supporting the art of Jini Dellaccio, a Northwest treasure and living piece of music history.

If you grew up listening to rock 'n' roll in the 1960s and '70s, or you're familiar with Seattle’s rock history from that period, chances are you’ve been exposed to her work. During the time when rock music was just beginning to forge its identity, Dellaccio was a pioneering female photographer in a field dominated by men. Dellaccio, now 93, held her own as a rock photographer and is responsible for some of the most recognizable album covers and portraits from that era.

Her camera has captured iconic figures ranging from Neil Young to Pete Townshend as well as regional icons such as The Sonics, The Wailers, and Paul Revere and the Raiders. You know the cover for The Sonics "Boom" record? That's a Dellaccio shot. If you're too young to recall The Sonics, or if that particular image isn't ringing a bell, chances are you've seen her work on display at The Crocodile, where a dozen giant-sized Dellaccio prints hang in the storied Belltown venue's showroom.

A documentary about Dellaccio’s life and career is in the works, and according to the film’s website it “weaves behind-the-scenes stories of her stunning photography with Jini’s own reflections on her work.” You can get an early glimpse of the film Saturday (March 12) when an extended trailer will be shown at the Northwest Film Forum. The event is free but is aimed at raising money to help complete the project. The filmmakers will be on hand to discuss the movie and take questions from the audience — as will Dellaccio, who is attending as the guest of honor.

The movie is being produced by Five Star Films and directed by Karen Whitehead, a UK documentarian who has teamed up with local filmmaker John Jeffcoat for this project. Jeffcoat is best known for the film Outsourced, which was adapted into an NBC sitcom, and for the series of "Amplified" documentaries that were released last year as part of MTV’s $5 Cover: Seattle.

If you go: The Jini Dellaccio documentary extended trailer premieres at 4 p.m. at the Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave., on Saturday (March 12). Admission is free, but organizers will be collecting donations to help pay for the film and can only process amounts of $50 and up. Backers also can contribute to the film here.

  

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