JINI DELLACCIO Reunites with the Sonics at a KEXP live performance in 2010.
Jini Dellaccio was born in Indiana in 1917. She learned how to play the saxophone, graduated from high school in 1935, and began touring the country with jazz bands. Take a second to imagine that: touring the United States as an 18-year-old female jazz saxophonist in the mid-1930s. "Jini," says Steve Lalor of the 1960s folk-psychedelic band the Daily Flash, "is one hell of a character."
Dellaccio is now in her 90s and living in Seattle, the undisputed queen of Northwest rock 'n' roll photography. Some say she's the queen of all rock 'n' roll photography. She was busy reinventing the way people took band portraits and concert shots six years before Annie Leibovitz starting cutting her teeth at Rolling Stone.
Dellaccio studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and was a fashion and travel photographer before her best-remembered work—those bold, dynamic photos of the Sonics, the Wailers, the Daily Flash, and Merrilee Rush (remember "Angel of the Morning"?), as well as the Rolling Stones, the Beach Boys, and Neil Young. She abandoned the popular but boring five-guys-in-a-line formula, instead taking musicians outdoors, making them climb trees, dragging them around to places with distinct architecture (Suzzallo Library, for example).