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|B i o g r a p h y|
Born September 19th 1969 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Candy Dulfer
is six years old when she starts playing the saxophone. Her father Hans
Dulfer, a renowned jazz saxophone player himself, recognises the talent
of his little girl and enters her into the local brassband Jeugd Doet
Leven in Zuiderwoude. There she switches from soprano to alto saxophone
- which is still her favourite instrument to this day. Aside from some
basic musical training she receives in the brassband, Candy pretty much
teaches herself the following years. Of course aided by her father who,
after only a few months of music lessons, puts her on stage together
with his band to perform her first ever solo!
At eleven years old, Candy makes her first recording together with
Hans. A year later, at the tender age of twelve, she performs at the
famous North Sea Jazz Festival with Rosa King as a member of her
"Ladies Hornsection". 'Rosa taught me many things and encouraged me to
become a bandleader myself,' Candy says. She also teams up with a band
called Own Cultivation - the band with the lowest average age ever to
perform at that festival. By joining her father Hans on several
occasions and doing many jamsessions in the club circuit of Amsterdam,
Candy is getting known among musicians as a hot new talent. At
fourteen, she starts her own band Funky Stuff, which quickly gains a
loyal following. The media catches up on this rising star and Candy
appears on national radio and television, while doing many interviews
with the press. Several record companies offer her a deal. She turns
them all down.
After opening for Madonna at the Feyenoord Stadium in Rotterdam in
1987 - a much-talked-about performance which the band largely
improvised - Candy starts up a new, more professional edition of Funky
Stuff in early '88. Fortunately, the people love the 'new' Funky Stuff.
The band plays sell-out gigs across the country for more than a year.
The final show, at the famous Paradiso club in Amsterdam, sells out
weeks in advance. While being on tour, Funky Stuff is scheduled to
perform as a support act for another megastar, Prince. At the last
minute, Prince cancels the support act for his three shows in The
Netherlands. Candy is furious. She writes Prince a note saying that he
missed an excellent chance to see a girl 'play her ass off' on the
saxophone. Two days later, Prince apologizes and invites her to join
him on stage for an impromptu blues. Candy brings the house down. His
Royal Badness is very impressed and asks her to work on some more
projects with him in the States.
There, Candy records saxophone parts for The Time, Jil Jones, Patti LaBelle and, of course, Prince - contributing to his soundtrack album Graffiti Bridge. She even plays a prominent role in the video of his hit single "Partyman" and performs with Prince on Saturday Night Live. Although she enjoys every minute of it, Candy misses playing with her own band and being her own boss. After careful consideration Candy decides not to take Prince up on his offer to accompany him on a world wide tour. 'I loved working with Prince, but for my personal wellbeing it was better to go my own way.' Their paths will cross again some years later...
Before heading to the States, Candy had recorded several tracks with
Dave Stewart, best known as one of The Eurythmics. The simple and cool
instrumental "Lily was here" is featured on the soundtrack of a Dutch
feature film. When released as a single, it surprises everyone - mostly
Candy - by going straight to Number One across Europe. 'I never would
have thought of it,' Candy says. 'I recorded my part in five minutes. I
was hoping they wouldn't put it on the album. I was so embarrassed. It
was so simple and I even played off-key. It wasn't until later that I
learned to appreciate it and saw what a genius Dave Stewart is.'
She should, because "Lily" breaks new ground for Candy
internationally. She finally accepts an offer from the record company
BMG Ariola and decides the time has come for her own album - on her
terms: total artistic freedom. This results in her smashing debut album
Saxuality, released in May 1990, featuring 8 songs written by Candy and
young and talented Funky Stuff guitar player Ulco Bed. The album is
promoted by an extensive tour of The Netherlands, the rest of Europe
and the States, as well as high profile appearances on Jay Leno's
"Tonight Show", "Good Morning America" and The Arsenio Hall Show. To
top it all off the album is nominated for the prestigious Grammy Awards
in the category Best Instrumental Pop Recording. Saxuality ends up
selling over a million copies worldwide. In short: an astonishing debut.
As a result from her work with Prince and Dave Stewart and her own
highly successful album, she is asked by Van Morrison to join him on
stage at the Pinkpop Festival. Impressed by her playing Van still
invites her for live performances and album recordings to this day. In
June 1990 she plays her biggest crowd yet when she joins the legendary
psychedelic rock band Pink Floyd at the renowned Knebworth Festival.
Amids heavy winds and drizzly rain, the 130,000 spectators watch her do
prominent solos on the classic Floyd-tracks "Shine on you crazy
diamond" and "Money". And despite other high profile gigs with the
likes of Maceo Parker and Dave Stewart, she steadily moves along with
her own career.
With the Saxuality team she also records the new album, Sax-a-go-go,
released in 1993, a tribute to her own musical roots with guest
appearances from the likes of Tower of Power and Maceo Parker. It also
features a song specially written for her by Prince! The tour that
follows - again with a completely renewed edition of Funky Stuff -
takes her across Europe and Asia. The three hitsingles from that album
- the title track and cover versions of "Pick up the pieces" and "I
can't make you love me" - become instant classics in her repertoire. In
Malaysia she is greeted by hundreds of fans at the airport, in Japan
people recognise her on the street and travel along on the tour. Candy
is clearly a star in her own right by now.
The release of her third solo album, Big Girl, is preceded by a high
profile appearance at the World Liberty Concert in Arnhem, The
Netherlands, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the liberation of
Europe and the end of World War II. Amidst tanks, planes, pyro
technics, hundreds of actors and lasers, Candy joins superstars like
Joe Cocker, UB40, Wet Wet Wet and Art Garfunkel for an unprecedented
spectacle, performing elaborate solos with Alan Parsons and her very
own "I can't make you love me". The show, attended by over 100,000
fans, is broadcast world wide and watched by millions of people.
Big Girl - curiously titled as an inside joke to her fathers album
Big Boy and as a sign of her growing maturity - is released in the Fall
of '95 and features the hit single "Wake me when it's over", a duet
with long-time idol David Sanborn. The album marks a transition between
the work of Ulco Bed and newcomer Thomas Bank, a talented keyboard
player and composer / producer. She gains many new fans by touring
Eastern Europe, including much hailed shows in former Yugoslavia, while
still finding time to contribute to recordings of Van Morrison, daddy
Hans Dulfer and the Dutch hit sensation Total Touch - featuring former
Funky Stuff vocalist Trijntje Oosterhuis.
In early May '97 the album For the love of you is released. Again,
fans line up to get their copies of the album; adding to the over
two-and-a-half million albums she has already sold world wide. From May
through November she performs nearly a hundred shows in fourteen
countries, including a sell-out tour across Japan. She travels to the
States in December for interviews, in-store appearances and an
impressive live-on-TV jam at Sinbad's trendsetting talkshow "Vibe".
Smooth jazz radio is all over the title track, while the album peaks at
No. 2 on Billboard's Jazz Contemporary Albums chart and remains
steadily positioned in the Top 10 for months.
In February of 1998 she kicks off the USA leg of her tour, which
includes a show at the prestigious Beacon Theatre on Broadway. After
many requests, she returns in the Summer for more shows, including the
renowned JVC Jazz Festival at the Avery Fisher Hall in New York.
Following the shows in the USA, Candy immediately leaves for an
extensive, four-week tour of Europe.
While on holiday (her first in years) she receives a call from an
old friend, Prince, who invites her to join his USA Tour. Candy joins
him for his New Power Soul Festival Tour, with an impressive bill that
also includes the musical legends Larry Graham and Chaka Khan. Candy
joins the horn section of Graham Central Station for their set and also
features prominently when Prince hits the stage. The tour - **** out of
four according to USA Today - includes gigs at Madison Square Garden in
New York and the MCI Center in Washington DC. During a break in the
tour she incidentally bumps into the legendary group Blondie, who are
recording their comeback album in New York. Candy contributes a
smashing sax solo on one of the tracks. And at the end of 1998, when
Prince returns to Europe to continue his tour, Candy is again invited
to join him. On occassion Prince's regular concerts are followed by
unannounced aftershows. Like at the Tivoli club in Utrecht, Holland,
where Candy is able to show her stuff for her home crowd and jams with
Prince, Larry Graham, daddy Hans Dulfer and surprise guest Lenny
Kravitz 'till the wee small hours.
For her album Girls Night Out (released worldwide in 1999) she joins
forces with some of the finest talents in the music business, including
horn players Fred Wesley and Pee Wee Ellis (of JB's fame), jazz
trumpeteer Arturo Sandoval, bass player Jerry Preston and popular
smooth jazz artist Jonathan Butler. Mixing of the album takes place in
the USA, where Candy works with top talents Booker T III and Ray
Bardani in New York and Los Angeles. The album marks a return to the
funky and danceable style that Candy is known and loved for, but she is
obviously also highly influenced by newer styles like hip hop, house
and jungle. The album includes the song "Cookie", one of the new tracks
she recorded with old friend Dave Stewart for the soundtrack of Robert
Altman's new motion picture "Cookie's Fortune".
After the album's release, Candy again tours across the world with
her band Funky Stuff, performing dozens of highly successful shows in
Japan, the USA and across Europe. In April 2000 Candy returns to Japan
for a sell-out series of shows at the renowned Blue Note clubs in Osaka
and Tokyo and through the Summer she performs across Europe.
In early October of that year she records her longawaited live album
aptly titled Live in Amsterdam. The album, available on CD and DVD,
features special guests Dave Stewart, soul diva Angie Stone and Hans
Dulfer. Of course, Candy classics like "Lily was here", "Sax-a-go-go"
and "Pick up the pieces" are included, but the album also features two
brandnew songs, including a smashing new collaboration with Dave
Stewart entitled "Synchrodestiny".
Preceeding the release of "Live in Amsterdam" in February 2001, she
starts the year by performing five nights as part of the "Vrienden van
Amstel Live" event at the Ahoy in Rotterdam, performing to a crowd of
10,000 each night. She also records a very special television show at
the Paradiso in Amsterdam in front of a select crowd, performing not
only with Funky Stuff but also with a string ensemble and special
guests like Hammond-legend Joey DiFrancesco and her father, Hans
Dulfer. Another highlight of 2001 is the brand new collaboration
between Candy and Prince when she's invited by Prince to come to his
Paisley Park studio in Minneapolis to perform on his upcoming album
Candy kicks off 2002 with a Japanese Tour in February. In April she returns to the USA to join Prince on his critically acclaimed "One Nite Alone" Tour, playing to packed venues across the States. Not only does she get to perform alongside Maceo Parker in the horn section, she also jams with artists like Alicia Keys, Sheila E. and Erykah Badu at Prince's renowned aftershows. She's expected to join Prince for more shows later this year. With her band Funky Stuff Candy will tour all over Europe in the Summer, some shows will be on the same bill as Van Morrisson and Candy will play a show again with Dave Stewart. Furthermore her father Hans Dulfer will appear as a special guest on some of the shows. Also, she's completed a Duet album with her father Hans for Eagle records and her own solo album for the same album is scheduled for release in the Spring of 2003. Candy will also perform several gigs as a special guest with Van Morrisson during the rest of 2002.
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