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Dexter Gilman Wansel (born August 22, 1950) is a Grammy-winning R&B/jazz fusion arranger, musician, composer, conductor, synthesist and A&R director.



Dexter Wansel, began as an errand boy backstage at the uptown theater in Philadelphia from 1959 through 1963 for his step-uncle Georgie Woods. There he met many great artists who encouraged him to pursue music. In 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 synthesists like Wendy Carlos and Dick Hyman, where he began programming the Putney and the Arp 2600V for sessions at Sigma Sound Studios both credited and uncredited. From the early to mid 70s, Wansel also played keyboards for groups such as Instant Funk, Yellow Sunshine, and MFSB. After signing with Philadelphia International Records, as in-house song writer/producer/arranger, he established a song writing relationship with the lyricist Cynthia Biggs.

He also collaborated with other writers such as Bunny Sigler, T. Life, Vinnie Barrett and Kenneth Gamble. Dexter Wansel produced, wrote, arranged, played keyboards and synthesized hits for artists at Philly International Records as well as numerous other labels. In 1977, he produced the Grammy-winning album Unmistakably Lou by Lou Rawls.

Dexter’s music has been used as samples in the world of hip-hop. His 1975 'Theme From The Planets' drum beat intro, is hailed as being one of the first foundation beats of hip-hop. This beat continues to be sampled today and can also be heard on TV commercials and in m[[Reconstruction|ovies. His sampled music has been used by Kanye West, Lil Wayne, Drake, Rick Ross, J Cole, Eric B and Rakim, Wiz Khalifa, Lil KimIce-T and Ice Cube. In 1979 as conductor of the world famous MFSB Orchestra, Dexter Wansel was the music director/conductor 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 many album releases by the labels artists under the direction of Gamble and Huff.

Dexter and wife Judith Wansel have created their show called Sounds Of Philadelphia.

Personal lifeEdit

Wansel is the father of Grammy-nominated music producer and songwriter Pop Wansel,[1][2][3] and a U.S Army Veteran of the Vietnam War era (Taiwan). Most recently he has authored a novel entitled Shortwave, published in 2011.[4]

Dexter Wansel has a sister, well-known author Teri Woods.[5]


Studio albumsEdit

Year Album Chart positions[6] Record label
Jazz Albums
1976 Life On Mars 44 Philadelphia International Records
1977 What the World Is Coming To 168 45 24
1978 Voyager 139 37
1979 Time Is Slipping Away 58
2004 Digital Groove World Hotplanet Entertainment
"—" denotes the album failed to chart


Year Single Chart positions Record label
Disco Singles[7]
1976 "Life On Mars" 91 Philadelphia International Records
1977 "Disco Lights" 91

Selected production discographyEdit


  1. ^ Ballin, Sofiya. "Producer Andrew 'Pop' Wansel, inspired by Philly". Retrieved 2015-08-08.
  2. ^ Trammell, Matthew. "Beat Construction: Meet Andrew "Pop" Wansel, the Producer Behind Nicki Minaj's Soft Side". the The Fader, Inc. Retrieved 2015-08-08.
  3. ^ Hailey, Jonathan. "Pop Wansel Names Top Five Producers & Best R&B Song Ever [VIDEO]". The Urban Daily. Retrieved 2015-08-08.
  4. ^ "Shortwave" page, Sage Words Publishing.
  5. ^ "Dexter Wansel Presents Sounds Of Philadelphia". DC Nitelife. Retrieved June 19, 2018.
  6. ^ "Dexter Wansel US albums chart history". Retrieved 2010-08-31.
  7. ^ a b "Dexter Wansel US singles chart history". Retrieved 2011-10-13.

External linksEdit