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Poet, playwright, activist, Amiri Baraka is a major figure in the story of how jazz developed in the '60s and '70s. A key participant (through his blending of beat poetry with black nationalism) and an important commentator (as music critic, Leroy Jones), Baraka's life has been shaped by the music and the context in which it was made. Fifty years on from the publication of his seminal study Blues People in 1963, he talks to Kevin Le Gendre about his New York years.