b. 26 November 1940, Rotterdam, the Netherlands. As a very small child Kauffeld would sing along with records by artists such as Doris Day and Frank Sinatra. When she was aged 13 she sang on radio and also with a local band, the Raindrops. Her professional career was launched early in 1957 with an appearance on a national radio programme with the Skymasters big band. Not long after this, she sang in Berlin as a guest with Werner Müller and the RIAS Big Band. Her career developed in the Netherlands and Germany and in these years she appeared with many artists, including Toots Thielemans, Kurt Edelhagen, and Svend Asmussen. A move to the USA found her working in Los Angeles and Las Vegas with jazz musicians such as Ray Brown and Herb Ellis. Back in the Netherlands, through her new husband, producer Joop de Roo, she met and sometimes sang with many visiting jazz luminaries, among them Thad Jones, Niels-Henning Ørsted Pederson, Jiggs Whigham and Phil Woods. She also recorded My Favorite Ballads with the Metropole Orchestra under the direction of Rob Pronk and Fernand Terby; one track thereon, ‘Yesterday I Heard The Rain’, features a guest appearance by Stan Getz. In addition to working with large orchestras and small groups, such as Cees Slinger’s Diamond Five, Kauffeld has also sometimes worked in unusual formats as she did on sets with a guitar-tenor saxophone duo: The Song Is You and I’m On My Way To You. Kauffeld continued to tour internationally, meanwhile also teaching at the Hilversum Conservatory of Music, an activity she ceased in the early 00s to allow more time for performing.
During her career, Kauffeld has received many awards, including, in the 80s, Best Soloist at the Euro-Nordring Radio Festival and the Rotterdam Golden Heart culture prize; in the 90s, De Gouden Notenkraker and Hertogenbosch Duke of Duketown Award; and in the 00s, she received the Bird Award at the North Sea Jazz Festival, and her 40th anniversary as a professional musician was celebrated when she was honoured with a Dutch knighthood, the Ridder In De Orde Van De Nederlandse Leeuw.