Affectionately known as "the king of the smooth," Raoul Casadei has played an essential role in the evolution of dance music in Italy. Succeeding his uncle, Secundo Casadei, as leader of the first dance band in the central Italian region of Romagna, Casadei created the "l'orchestra spettacolo" and created the term "liscio" to describe his style of ballroom dance music. Although he retired from touring at the age of 80, he continued to supervise the band's artistic organization. Casadei oversaw Orchestra Casadei during their most fruitful period. Assuming the group's leadership in 1970, he shifted the band's approach to a more-youthful direction. In addition to hiring young musicians, he coined the slogan "musica solare" ("sunny music"), which he described as "a new rhythm which does not forget the waltz, polka, and mazurka but is enriched by new instruments and sounds." Under his leadership, the group began to collaborate with such international artists as Gloria Gaynor and Tito Puente. Casadei remains one of Italy's best-known personalities. According to Abacus official data, he is familiar to more than 90 percent of all Italians. With his retirement, Casadei's leadership of Orchestra Casadei was inherited by Mirko Casadei.
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