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Liscio Night 2017

From June 9 to 11 the Riviera will become a dance floor for Liscio Night, the long night of Romagna folk dancing. A great choral event with which Romagna will celebrate its identity, to reinterpret Liscio in a contemporary way but of course without changing its unmistakeable style.


During the three evenings of the weekend there will be not only the most famous Liscio orchestras of Italy but also many contemporary artists, ready to excite the audience.


Among the special guests of this second edition there will be Morgan, Roy Paci with his Aretuska, Eugenio Bennato, Khorakhanè, Compagnia di Canto Popolare, the German singer and DJ Shantel,  and the great Pupo. So taking the big Romagna stage are the singer-songwriter and co-founder of Bluevertigo, eclectic judge of musical talent shows, the trumpet player from Catania with his ska/jazz group, the well known Naples singer-songwriter, the Romagna indie pop group, the historic Neapolitan musical company, the musician from Frankfurt known for his work with his gypsy orchestra, and the famous voice of Italian pop.


But the uncontested stars of this music – and dance – genre loved by all of Italy are Mirko Casadei with the “Casadei Social Club” (new group of more than 20 instruments that brings together young virtuoso musicians and historic Liscio figures), the King of Liscio Raoul Casadei, Moreno Il Biondo with his historic band and Mirco Mariani & Extraliscio, a futuristic group revisited with a contemporary take on Romagna folk music transforming it into “dance hall punk”.



This huge festival will also host many of the one hundred Liscio dance schools open today in Romagna.


Besides the squares, this year this event will involve also the beaches, which during the weekend of June 9-11 will become dance halls with a sea view with walzer, polka and mazurka music.


The first date to memorize is that of Friday, June 9 at 9pm in downtown Ravenna. Riccarda and Raoul Casadei, (the daughter and grandson of Secondo Casadei, respectively, the unmatched master of Liscio and creator of the song Romagna Mia) will put on an evening of memories, anecdotes and curious facts, together with people from the world of culture and journalism, and they will comment together on some clips of the three episode documentary on Liscio being shown mid-June on the channel Sky Arte.


Saturday, June 10, there is a double date in Gatteo Mare and Bellaria Igea Marina. On the stage set up at the Don Guanella Gardens in Gatteo, a unique evening under the artistic direction of Moreno Il Biondo, whose orchestra will perform the famous melodies of Secondo Casadei, to which dancers from some of the Romagna dance schools will perform, followed by Mirco Mariani & Extraliscio, who will perform together with La Nuova Compagnia di Canto Popolare (celebrating 50 years of activity), Shantel and Pupo.

The show in Piazza Capitaneria of the Port of Bellaria Igea Marina, with the artistic direction of  Mirko Casadei, will give the audience a tribute to Liscio by Roy Paci & Aretuska, Morgan, Eugenio Bennato and Khorakhanè. Also highly anticipated is the moment that the “Casadei Social Club” will take the stage, an ensemble of more than 20 instruments directed by Mirko Casadei that combines young virtuoso musicians with the historic figures of Liscio and dancers. There will also be the great host and king of Liscio Raoul Casadei. Returning to this edition of Liscio Night is the Competition Romagna Mia 2.0 open to all artists under age 35 (bands, singer-songwriters, singers, rappers, musicians and artists of every genre and style) to reinterpret historic, traditional Romagna songs (info at



The origins of Liscio in Romagna

Liscio in Romagna began with Carlo Brighi, nicknamed “Zaclèn” (duckling, due to his passion for duck hunting) who for fifty years from the end of the 1800s traveled with his orchestra all over Romagna, playing dance music in his wooden structure that could be heard, as night fell, in the courtyards, fields and squares of the towns. His orchestra consisted in three violins, a clarinet and a contrabass. Among the undoubtable merits of Brighi is that of having sped up the rhythms using the clarinet, an instrument which still today plays a predominant role in Liscio.


In 1928, Secondo Casadei, after having been a part of Brighi’s orchestra for a few years, founded his own orchestra, with big innovations, adding jazz instruments to his band: the contralto sax (which with the clarinet creates the typical Romagna sound), drums, a banjo and also a singer (a huge innovation in that era), quickly becoming the most popular and loved orchestra in Romagna, winning the affection and admiration of a wide audience. It was the artistic director of the record label La Voce del Padrone who suggested, in 1954, the title, and Secondo Casadei, who wanted to call his song “Casetta Mia”, did not need to be told twice: thus “Romagna Mia” was recorded in Milan.


60 years have passed since then and Romagna Mia is the most danced to song in the dance halls all over Italy, the anthem of Romagna, making Casadei the “Strauss of Romagna”. There are many curious facts linked to this song, which in 1954 sold more than 6 million copies and was covered by artists of every genre, from Claudio Villa to Gloria Gaynor, from Deep Purple to Goran Bregovic (who covered it in a gypsy version with Samuele Bersani at the Festival of Sanremo in 2012 and at the first edition of Liscio Night in 2016). Among all the anecdotes, the best is that, according to legend, Pope John Paul II really liked this song and not only did he join in with the singing of a group from Romagna visiting Saint Peter’s, but, as he had stated in some interviews with newspapers, he hummed it also when relaxing by himself.



Last modified May 29, 2017

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