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Candy Dulfer (born 19 September 1969) is a Dutchmarker smooth jazz alto saxophonist. She started to play saxophone at the age of six. She has had her own band, Funky Stuff, since she was fourteen. Her debut album Saxuality (1990) received a Grammy Award nomination. Over the years she released nine studio albums, two live albums, and one compilation album. She has performed and recorded songs with several other musicians, such as her father Hans Dulfer, Prince, Dave Stewart, René Froger, Van Morrison, and Maceo Parker. For the Dutch television series Candy meets... (2007), she interviewed musicians she worked with.

Early life

Candy Dulfer was born on 19 September 1969 in Amsterdammarker in the Netherlandsmarker, as the daughter of saxophonist Hans Dulfer. She played drums at the age of five. On her own initiative, and never pushed by her father, she wanted to play the saxophone. As a six-year-old she started to play on a soprano saxophone, because her father's tenor saxophone was too heavy. She switched to alto saxophone at the age of seven, and played in the local concert band Jeugd Doet Leven (English translation: "Youth Brings Life") in Zuiderwoude. Apart from some basic musical training in a concert band and a few months of music lessons, she taught herself how to play the sax.

Musical career

Candy Dulfer played her first solo on stage with her father's band De Perikels (English translation: "The Perils"). At the age of eleven, she made her first recordings for the album I Didn't Ask (1981) of De Perikels. In 1982, when she was twelve years old, she played as a member of Rosa King's Ladies Horn section at the North Sea Jazz Festival. According to Dulfer, King encouraged her to become a band leader herself. In 1984, at the age of fourteen, Dulfer started her own band Funky Stuff. In 1987, the band performed as opening act at two concerts of Madonna's European tour. In 1988, the band's lineup was completely changed. In the following years, Funky Stuff gave sold-out concerts all over the Netherlands.

In 1988, Funky Stuff was booked as the supporting act for three Prince concerts in the Netherlands. Prince canceled the supporting act, but invited Dulfer on stage to play an improvised solo. After this encounter, she starred in the video of the single "Partyman" (1989), where Prince sings:

This appearance led to session work with Eurythmics guitarist and producer Dave Stewart, who gave Dulfer a credit on "Lily Was Here" (the title song of a Dutchmarker movie starring Marion van Thijn), reaching number six in the UK singles chart and number one in the Dutch radio charts in 1990. She also played with Pink Floyd at the band's performance at Knebworthmarker '90 in June 1990.

Candy Dulfer in 2006

Dulfer's debut album, Saxuality, was released later in 1990. With her funky alto sax stylings proving popular with fans of contemporary jazz at several recently launched smooth jazz radio stations in the United Statesmarker, Saxuality was nominated for a Grammy and certified gold for worldwide sales in excess of half a million. "Lily Was Here" also crossed over to the pop charts in America, reaching #11 on the Billboard Hot 100. Though Dulfer has had no other pop hits in the U.S.marker, she has had a number of major smooth jazz chart hits, including "For The Love Of You" and "Finsbury Park, Cafe 67".

Dulfer was also the featured saxophonist for Van Morrison's A Night in San Francisco, an album made from live recordings in 1993.

Dulfer collaborated with her father Hans Dulfer on the duet album Dulfer Dulfer (2001).

In 2007, she released her ninth studio album Candy Store. The album reached a #2 position in Billboard's Top Contemporary Jazz charts. Of the album Candy Store, the song "L.A. Citylights" reached a #1 position in Smooth Jazz National Airplay charts in the United States.


In 2007 Candy Dulfer was the presenter and interviewer in Candy meets..., her own television program for public broadcaster NPS. In the series she met with Sheila E., Maceo Parker, Hans Dulfer, Van Morrison, Dave Stewart, and Mavis Staples.



  1. Candy Dulfer biografie. Retrieved on 2007-11-27.
  2. Candy meets... Hans Dulfer. Retrieved on 2007-11-24.
  3. Candy meets. Retrieved 2007-10-26.

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