Born in 1969, Dutch saxophonist Candy Dulfer is the highest profile woman to make the list of saxophone greats. She was born to it, as her father Hans is also a jazz saxophonist. She started playing soprano at six, later moving to the alto. She formed her first band at just thirteen.
In the late 1980s, although her band had opened for Madonna concerts in the Netherlands, Candy came to the world’s attention with two key collaborations.
Playing with Dave Stewart (formerly of the Eurythmics), their instrumental single Lily was here went to number one in 1989.
Watch Lily was here played live https://youtu.be/3SfSQ3lQmJw
The other collaboration was with the late, great, Prince. Candy played on and appeared in his Partyman video in 1989 he which he says, “When I want sax, I call Candy”!
Watch Partyman here https://youtu.be/AjY8HvpNu6o
Candy went on to be part of Prince’s NPG band for his 2004 Musicology tour and album. She has appeared with many other big names since from Pink Floyd to Beyoncé.
I n1990, she released her first album under her own name and Saxuality earned a Grammy nomination, (it includes Lily was here). She’s now released a dozen solo albums and also collaborated with her father on a duet album in 2001.
Playing a wide range of funk and soul with her band, she is largely self-taught, but her style is influenced by David Sanborn, arguably the originator of that style of saxophone playing. Although often put into the Smooth Jazz charts in the US, she doesn’t really feel at home there with her high energy style – but is grateful that they still appear to like her.
Her saxophone setup has been a Selmer MK VI alto with Lebayle jazz 8 mouthpieces. Rico select 3s.
More recently, she has also endorsed the Dutch Free Wind saxophone with a Saxpoint size 9 mouthpiece with 2½ reeds.
On our Google search list of famous saxophonists she is 7th with 9900 monthly searches in the US.