Interview Dutch saxophonist Candy Dulfer

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Renowned Dutch Saxophonist Candy Dulfer is in New York after performing on the Smooth Jazz Cruise and last Tuesday she visited the Consulate General. We had an exclusive interview with Candy to talk about her upcoming activities in the United States and her collaboration and experiences with the Consulate.

Even though Candy has been performing in the US since she was 17, she never visited the Dutch Consulate before. Ever since she started out as a saxophonist she has arranged her tours and concerts independently. But after all her great successes in the US she now wants to help other upcoming musicians together with the Dutch Consulate. Candy wants to be a channel for young and upcoming talents to make a name for themselves in the US. “I aspire to function as an intermediary for upcoming talent. They sometimes need some extra help and together with the Dutch Consulate we can help them to establish a name for themselves abroad by facilitating and promoting their musical activities’. The Consulate General of the Netherlands plays an important and active role in the process of supporting young talent. The Consulate’s broad network of contacts and promotional experience really helps to pave the way for these upcoming talents.

When Candy first came to the US she was modest and uncertain as to what to expect: “Why would Americans ever like a Dutch jazz musician, while there are so many great American jazz musicians?” She was happily surprised that the US audience is actually very open to foreign musicians. According to Candy, performing in the US differs somewhat from performing in The Netherlands “Everybody responds so enthusiastic and vocally here. All these great and positive reactions I get during a show really give me a lot of energy”. American audiences can be tough but for Candy the responses were always praising of her talent and swinging performances. She actually got more confident about her music after performing in the US. “There is no other place in the world where people are so complimentary, that really boosted my self-confidence when I was younger. My first review by an American critic is something I will never forget, it is the only review I would actually like to frame”.

Aside from helping other musicians Candy wants to contribute to a great cause as well. Having been the spokesperson for the ALS Foundation in The Netherlands for the last five years she volunteered a lot to raise awareness for the disease, for example by performing at the Amsterdam City Swim. In June 2015 there will be a New Amsterdam City Swim in the Hudson River in which the Dutch Consulate plays an advisory role to help launch the event. Vera Kuipers, cultural policy officer at the Consulate, sat down on Tuesday with Candy to discuss how Candy and the Consulate can team up and contribute to the event. It is most likely that Candy will be encouraging the participants of the swim with her music.

Candy keeps performing in the US with great pleasure. Last week Candy performed on the Smooth Jazz Cruise again, which is one of her favorite gigs. “Performing on the Smooth Jazz Cruise is always such a treat; I get to headline and jam together with all my great idols like Natalie Cole, Marcus Miller and David Sanborn. I grew up listening to their music and now I am performing right next to them”. In December Candy will be joining American saxophonist Dave Koz for their third US Christmas tour together and in 2016 Candy will tour the US again with her own band.

For those who want to see Candy Dulfer and other great jazz music in Amsterdam, Candy has got some great tips. Every Friday night Club Dauphine hosts a dinner party where both renowned artists as well as young talent perform together. “A lot of new talent is discovered here, upcoming talents measure themselves to the established performers, which creates an amazing vibe.” Furthermore, Hans Dulfer, Candy’s father, plays each Wednesday evening at the Bulldog Palace in Amsterdam, “if you’re up for some real jazz this is the place to go!” Candy’s father is a renowned saxophonist as well and on May 28 he celebrates his 75th birthday with ‘Route 75’ in the Melkweg in Amsterdam, a series of concerts dedicated to Hans Dulfer’s life and musical career. Naturally, Candy will be performing as well among many other great musicians.

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