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‘I’m going off track again. Wait a minute.” Midway through a lengthy digression about an “amazing” New Orleans band named Boukou Groove, Peter Barakan pauses, ever so briefly, to check the conversational signposts.

The bilingual British broadcaster, a fixture on Japanese radio for more than three decades now, has seldom been short on gab. In conversation, he’s fond of anecdotes and perambulatory detours, delivered in a gentle lilt that still carries faint traces of his London upbringing. Whatever the topic, he often steers it back to his greatest passion: music.

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