Candy has been performing since she was seven. At the age of fourteen she was the bandleader of Funky Stuff and recorded internationally since she was nineteen. Not long after, at twenty years old, she started touring the world. She has recorded and/or performed with artists such as Prince, Dave Stewart (Eurythmics), Van Morrison, Maceo Parker, Sheila E., Mavis Staples, Lionel Richie, Beyoncé, Pink Floyd, Chaka Khan, David Sanborn, Larry Graham, Marcus Miller, Aretha Franklin, Jimmy Cliff, George Duke, Blondie, Jools Holland, Jamie Cullum, Angie Stone, Tower of Power, The Time, Alan Parsons, Fred Wesley, Pee Wee Ellis, Joey DiFrancesco, Jonathan Butler and many others.
‘Lily was here’ – her first collaboration with former Eurythmics Dave Stewart in 1989 – was a number 1 hit across Europe. Later, in 1999 they collaborated again on the soundtrack to the Robert Altman film ‘Cookie’s Fortune’, and in 2002 they toured Europe with his project Da Univerzal Playaz, with reggae legend Jimmy Cliff.
Candy Dulfer’s 1990 debut album ‘Saxuality’, recorded at the age of 19, sold over a million copies worldwide and was nominated for a Grammy Award. Her fourth album ‘For the love of you’ (1997) was a big hit in the US and stayed on the charts for over forty weeks. Her solo album sales now exceed two and a half million CDs worldwide. She appeared with Prince in the ‘Partyman’ video, which was featured on the soundtrack of ‘Graffiti Bridge’. Candy also performed with him on a special anniversary edition of ‘Saturday Night Live’. She then toured with him again in 1998 and 2002, appearing on his 3-CD live box set ‘One Nite Alone…Live!’ as well as his internet-only album ‘Xpectation’.
In 2004, Candy Dulfer toured with Prince for the massive Musicology Tour, playing over 90 shows in sold-out arenas across the US to more than 1.5 million fans. Prior to the Musicology Tour, she performed with Prince and Beyoncé at the prestigious Grammy Awards and also performed with Prince on Jay Leno’s “Tonight Show.” She also played a prominent role – with saxophone and vocals – on Prince’s hit album ‘Musicology’, including the rousing duet ‘Life of the party’.
TV appearances include Jay Leno’s “Tonight Show,” “Good Morning America,” CNN’s “Showbiz Today,” “Saturday Night Live,” The Sinbad Show, and a recurring spot on The Arsenio Hall Show. As well as all major television programs in Japan. Her European TV shows include ‘Ohne Filter’, The Harald Schmidt Show, ‘Rockpalast’ and Pepe Linhardt.
Since the early nineties she has been touring the world with her own band Funky Stuff. From the Roxy in L.A. and the illustrious Bottom Line in New York to the Blue Note clubs in Japan and the legendary Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. She has toured in Canada, USA, Asia, Scandinavia and the Baltic States, performing in San Remo and Perugia, Italy, the Gurten festival in Bern, Switzerland, the Nice Jazz en Vienne festival in France, Couleur Locale in Brussels and of course the famous North Sea Jazz Festival in The Hague, where Candy Dulfer sold out their biggest venue for over thirteen years.
In 2003 Candy Dulfer’s song ‘Finsbury Park, Café 67’ (from her solo album ‘Right in my Soul’) became a big hit on all smooth jazz stations in the US and in October the song reached the number 1 position on the R&R Smooth Jazz chart – making it the most played smooth jazz song in the US.
Her second live album ‘Live at Montreux’ was released in 2005 on DVD and CD as part of Eagle Vision’s prestigious selection of releases from the archives of the legendary Montreux Jazz Festival.
In 2006, Candy Dulfer performed as a special guest at the renowned Berks Jazz Fest in the US, followed by more shows in the US in July along with Jason Miles (of Miles Davis) with a band featuring Candy’s fellow Prince- band members Rhonda Smith and Chance Howard. By popular demand, she once again returned to the famous Blue Note clubs in Japan for an extensive tour in October.
Between two US tours and shows in Japan, Candy wowed the European festival crowd in 2007 with ‘Candy & Friends’. Spectacular concerts with her musical friends from around the world, including special guest star Rosie Gaines (of Prince fame). Earlier in 2007, Candy performed with Sheila E. for a European tour with her all-female band COED.
Candy’s album ‘Candy Store’ was released in the summer of 2007. Fan excitement and many rave reviews propelled the album to #2 on the Billboard Jazz Contemporary Chart. In November, Candy hit #1 on the R&R Smooth Jazz Chart in the US again with the single “L.A. Citylights’.
In 2007 another dream of Candy became reality, with the start of her own television program ‘Candy Meets’ on Dutch primetime television – a series of six personal documentaries in which Candy visited some of her musical friends and heroes on location to discuss career and love for music. Guests included Dave Stewart, Maceo Parker, Mavis Staples, Sheila E. and her own father Hans Dulfer. The show ended with a rare and candid interview with Van Morrison.
In 2008 she received the Golden Harp for her outstanding contributions to music in the Netherlands. By popular demand, she toured the US and Japan again, also performed all over Europe and visited South Africa for the first time for a show at the famous Cape Town Jazz Festival. In between tours she is a regular co-host of the popular Dutch prime time television talk show ‘De Wereld Draait Door’.
In September she performed four nights with superstar Lionel Richie on stage in the spectacle ‘Symphonica in Rosso’ at the Gelredome Stadium in Arnhem. She ended 2008 with a special New Year’s Eve performance in front of the Royal Palace in Amsterdam, where she and her band joined some of the biggest Dutch artists for a New Year’s Eve celebration – attended by over 30,000 people.
Dutch fashion magazine Jackie also named Candy the 3rd Best Dressed woman in the Netherlands.
‘Funked Up & Chilled Out’ was released worldwide in 2009. To promote it, she traveled the world with her band for a series of sold-out shows. For the first time in her career, she performed in Moscow. Due to popular demand, she returned to Russia in the fall for more shows. In May, she performed an extensive tour of the US, while spending the summer months on the larger stages of Europe’s most famous jazz festivals, such as the North Sea Jazz Festival in the Netherlands, Nisville in Serbia and the Veszprem Jazzfest in Hungary.
After performing a series of shows in early 2010 with Maceo Parker at the Blue Note club in Tokyo, Japan, she returned to the Dutch club stages in March and April 2010 to tour with her band. During the summer she gave shows in Korea, Denmark and Tunisia for the first time in her career, while also returning to Russia and Japan for more shows due to increased demand.
She ended 2010 with a five-week tour of the US as a special guest of fellow saxophonist Dave Koz for his renowned Smooth Jazz Christmas Tour, and kicked off 2011 with shows during the Smooth Jazz Cruise in the Caribbean. The close collaboration with Black Eyed Peas’ musical director and producer Printz Board forms the basis for the album’s bold new sound. For the other songs on the album, Candy again collaborated with Dutch producer and longtime guitarist Ulco Bed, who was responsible for Candy’s first big hits in her career with the albums ‘Saxuality’ and ‘Sax-a-go-go’. After the album’s release, she and her band toured the US and – for the first time in her career – South America.
Candy and her band continued to be successful in 2012, performing all over the world, including Japan, the Netherlands and the rest of Europe, Russia, the Baltic States and the US. In between performances Candy hosted her own weekly radio show ‘The Candy Store’ on Sublime FM.
She also started a close collaboration with the leading fashion brand Mexx and played special in-store shows in their stores across Europe. Mexx and Candy continue their collaboration with a special collection designed by Candy that hit the stores in 2013.