Funk saxophonist Maceo Parker, who spent 16 years touring and recording with soul star James Brown, says that at age 69, “I enjoy being who I am and what I do. The beat goes on, and it’s steady.”
A father of six grown children, Parker describes himself as “a little bit excited” about sharing the bill Friday night at Miami’s Adrienne Arsht Center with Dutch sax player Candy Dulfer, 43.
“I’ve known Candy a long, long time,” Parker says. “Her father [Hans] was a jazz player. I’m part of that list. That makes her special to me. It’s sort of like family.”
Dulfer calls Parker “one of my best friends, my mentor and idol.”
“I met him in ’89 for the first time,” she says. “We’ve stayed in touch and done tours together. We toured with Prince for a year.” Both played with Prince at a 2004 concert in Sunrise.
Parker still tours all over the world. He recently finished a month in France.
“I carry love with me,” says Parker, adding that he “incorporates a lot of James Brown” in his act.
“Anybody who remembers that old James stuff, it was ‘Come on, blow your horn,’ ” he says. “That’s where my career started.”
Parker says that after a half-century performing, he still hopes his music carries a positive influence.
“I’ve been doing it forever,” he says. “I like love. I’m very sensitive. A lot of the news I can’t watch. The basis of a lot of destruction is not love. It’s related to hate. If I throw enough love out there, it diminishes the hate.”
Friday night, Parker and Dulfer will perform “Super Sax,” an installment of music producer Larry Rosen’s Jazz Roots series.
“Funky music to me is shared with the people, the audience. It’s not like jazz, where you have to be quiet,” Parker says. “It invites people to get the party on. You forget about your problems. You may need new tires for your car or your grandfather is getting old. But for a moment you put it aside.”
Dulfer, who two years ago played a Fort Lauderdale Christmas show with smooth-jazz saxophone star Dave Koz, also prefers being known for funk. “I was never really a smooth-jazz artist,” she insists.
“I try to mix my jazz roots with all the new stuff coming out. I want to bring jazz to another generation,” Dulfer says. “People are longing for the heavier stuff. Smooth jazz began as a collection of music that was beautiful. It became background music. It became more and more commercial. A lot of smooth-jazz artists became confined and couldn’t play anything else.”
Maceo Parker and Candy Dulfer perform Jazz Roots’ Super Sax concert 8 p.m. Friday at Adrienne Arsht Center’s Knight Concert Hall, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami. Tickets $25 to $130. www.ArshtCenter.org.