Italy’s dance king dies of Covid

Italy’s dance king dies of Covid


norman lebrecht

March 13, 2021

Covid-19 has claimed the life of Raoul Casadei, emperor of Italy’s popular dances in rural areas.

Raoul, known as ‘Re del Liscio’, died of Covid-19 at the age of 83.

He had his own orchestra and went from one village to the next, bringing people out to dance.





  • Marfisa says:

    This looks interesting, and I hoped that an Italian commenter would say something about him. But I have had to resort to the internet. His orchestra (really a dance-band) was hugely popular all over the Romagna, not just in villages; his uncle, Secondo Casadei, popularized liscio, composed the music, and founded the Orchestra Casadei in the 1920s; Raoul joined in the early 50s, and took over its leadership in the 70s when Secondo died. Its success continued throughout the twentieth century, and Raoul’s son took over at the start of the twenty-first, renaming it ‘Mirko Casadei Beach Band’. I believe it still exists, further modernised. The Casadei were the Strauss family of the Romagna; the dances are fun; classical musicians should not turn up their noses. There are YT videos: for a start.