Candy is a solo artist, a songwriter, an in-demand instrumentalist, and a co-writer and collaborator who has worked with some of the biggest names in modern music, including Van Morrison, Maceo Parker, Sheila E., Mavis Staples, Lionel Richie, Beyoncé, Pink Floyd, Chaka Khan, Aretha Franklin, and Prince, among many others. She first rose to fame with her high-profile collaboration with Dave Stewart on the worldwide number 1 smash “Lily Was Here.”
Her tenure with Prince may be best remembered by his tongue-in-cheek recommendation in the “Partyman” video: “When I want sax, I call Candy.” Their collaboration continued over the years with many studio sessions, TV show appearances, award show performances, including the Grammy Awards, and concert tours around the globe, including Candy joining Prince’s NPG band as a permanent member for his record-shattering Musicology tour and album.
In addition to her superstar collaborations, Candy is a serious lifelong musician with a robust history as a solo artist releasing albums and touring the world for over 35 years. Since her Grammy-nominated debut, 1990’s Saxuality, Candy has issued 12 studio albums. The combined world-wide sales of her solo albums top 2.5 million copies, and she has had several number 1 hits in the USA. In between her solo albums and her high-profile collaborations, Candy still manages to join Dutch female supergroup the Ladies of Soul for their annual sold-out concerts at the massive Amsterdam Ziggo Dome; she is a headline performer on Smooth Jazz Cruises in the USA and Europe; she is an ambassador for the Dutch ALS Foundation; and Candy was a judge on the Dutch version of X Factor.
At the age of 4, Candy’s destiny unfolded before her eyes, watching jazz heavyweight saxophonist Sonny Rollins. Her father, Hans Dulfer, brought her to the show. Hans is a well-known Dutch jazz saxophonist who, when Candy was growing up, surrounded himself with legends such as Archie Shepp, Dexter Gordon, and guitarist John McLaughlin. Candy began playing sax at the age of 6, and started her own band Funky Stuff at the age of 13.