Dexter Wansel

Grammy  Winner - Philadelphia-born Keyboardist.  Composer.  Conductor.  Songwriter.  Producer and Arranger

About Dexter Wansel

The Sounds of Philadelphia has many stories, this is just one of them.

R+B/fusion arranger, musician, composer, conductor, synthesist, A+R Director, Dexter Wansel, began as an errand boy backstage at the uptown theater in Philadelphia from 1959 through 1963. There he met many great artists who encouraged him to pursue music. In junior high school and high school he and his best friend Stanley Clarke had their first bands together.

In 1970 after being honorably discharged from the United States Army, Wansel quietly joined the ranks of great synthesists like Walter Carlos and Dick Hyman, where he began programming the Putney and the Arp 2600V for sessions at Sigma Sound Studios both credited and uncredited. Going to early 70s, Wansel also played keyboards for groups such as instant funk, yellow sunshine, and MFSB. In 1975 Dexter created the moody, space- soul LP ‘Life On Mars’ whose icy ambience and thick, thematic funk is universally credited with having created Neo-Soul. After signing with Philadelphia international records, he established a song writing relationship with the great lyricist Cynthia Biggs and many of their hit records are listed here.. Dexter Wansel produced, wrote, arranged and synthesized hits for Philly International Records as well as numerous other labels. Some of the Recording artists that he has worked  with over the years are Trey Songz, (Unusual) The O'Jays, (I Really Need You Now) Jordin Sparks, (Hooked On Your Love-from the Sparkle movie) Patti LaBelle, (If Only You Knew-I Can't Forget) The Stylistics, (Hurry Up This Way Again-What's Your Name) Diggy, (Do It Like You) Teddy Pendergrass, (Love TKO-Only You-All I Need Is You) Instant Funk, The Jones Girls, (You Made Me Love You-Nights Over Egypt) Junior, (Not Tonight) Michael Jackson and The Jacksons, (Keep On Dancin-Jump For Joy-Different kind Of Lady) Donny Hathaway, (You Were Meant For Me) Loose Ends, (The Sweetest Pain-You Can't Stop The Rain) Terri Wells, (Stop The Clock) MFSB, (Mysteries Of The World-Philadelphia Freedom-Manhattan Skyline) Lou Rawls, (Its Our Anniversary Today-Pure Imagination-Lovers Holiday) Billy Paul, (I Think I'll Stay Home Today-Billys Back Home) P.P Arnold (A Little Pain) Jean Carn, (Give It Up-You Are All I Need-I'm In Love Once Again)) Carl Carlton, (Spend The Night) Phyllis Hyman, (Living All Alone) Grover Washington Jr, (The Best Is Yet To Come) Pieces Of A Dream (Warm Weather) Damon Williams (When, where, how) Evelyn Champagne King (Shame-The Show Is Over) Sasss (Sassy Lady) Miles Jaye (I've Been A Fool For You) to name a few.

Dexter's music has been used as samples over 1000 times in the world of hip-hop. His 1975 'Theme From The Planets' drum beat intro, is hailed as being one of the first great beats of hip-hop. This beat continues to be heavily sampled today and can alsobe heard on TV commercials and in movies.. His sampled music has been used by Kanye West, Lil Wayne, Drake, Rick Ross, J Cole, Kid And Play, Eric B and Rakim, Wiz Khalifa, The Lox, Lil Kim, Ice T, Ice Cube, Stalley, just to name a few. In 1978 as conductor of the world famous MFSB Orchestra, Dexter Wansel was the musical director for the historic show at the White House commemorating the very first 'Black Music History Month' celebration in 1978. From 1978 through 1980, Dexter Wansel was the A+R Director for Philadelphia international records where he oversaw album releases by all the labels artists including McFadden and Whitehead's and their historic single "Ain't No Stopping Us Now" As well as Teddy Pendergrass's TP album.

Dexter and wife Judith Wansel have created their show called called Sounds Of Philadelphia. In which during live performances, Grammy award winner Dexter Wansel performs the music he helped to create for some of the world renowned recording artists as well as his own music. The sounds of Philadelphia have many stories, this is just one of them. Dexter Wansel Presents Sounds of Philadelphia.

Dexter Wansel

Keyboardist/arranger/producer/recording artist Dexter Wansel can be heard throughout the catalog of Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff's Philadelphia International Records. His skills can be heard on non-PIR sides like Jermaine Jackson's "Where Are You Now" from his gold LP Let's Get Serious and "Tonight" from Junior's Acquired Taste LP. His frequent songwriting partners were Cynthia Biggs, Bunny Sigler, and T. Life. A synth pioneer, Wansel's first LP arranging assignment was several tracks on Carl Carlton's 1975 LP, I Wanna Be With You, produced by Bunny Sigler. A Biggs/Wansel song, "The Sweetest Pain," a duet between Wansel and Jean Carn, originally a 1979 single from Wansel's Time Is Slipping Away LP, was a popular radio-aired LP from Loose Ends' Zagora LP. Two of Carn's LPs, When I Find You Love (entirely produced by Wansel) and Sweet and Wonderful, and Jean Carn and Happy to Be With You were issued on a two-album single CD by U.K. label Westside Records in early 1999.


Sounds of Philadelphia
The Jacksons
The Stylistics
Patrice Rushen
The O'Jays
Phyllis Hyman
The Jones Girls
Archie Bell and the Drells'
Evelyn "Champagne" King's
Teddy Pendergrass
Michael Jackson
Grover Washington Jr
Jean Carn
Pattie Labelle
George Benson
Billy Paul
Cynthia Biggs
Lou Rawls
McFadden & Whitehead
Marilyn Ashford-Brown
Dexter Wansel Life on Mars
Dexter Wansel The Sweetest Pain
Web design Colin Hughes Transform Europe Ltd