Paul Leake & Kailash Ray Interviews I of III

Video interview with Paul Leake & Kailash Ray, Part I of III; interviewer Arthur Mandelbaum; Phuket, Thailand, July 2011,  length 19:24. Tabla Paul’s account of how he became a student of North Indian Classical music, who his teachers were and where he studied.

Samsara is time devouring. Everyone is busy and has obligations. It was difficult to find the time and a conducive place to interview Tabla Paul and Kailash Ray for The Flower Raj and for posterity.  The perfect circumstances for them to tell the stories of how they became musicians in the North Indian Classical tradition manifested in July 2011 in Phuket, Thailand.

I interviewed them with the small hand held Flip HD Camcorder. The voice behind the camera is mine, a long time friend of all involved.

The video has three sections. Part I (this video)  is Tabla Paul’s account of how he became a student of North Indian Classical music, who his teachers were and where he studied.

Part II will be Kailash Ray’s story of how he came to the sarod  (a lifetime love affair), who his teachers were and where he studied.

Part III consists of repartee between Tabla Paul and Kailash Ray evoked by the ‘audience’  member Sitar Andy, who was there at the beginning [the 1960s] as well.

Paul was still recovering form a serious thumb injury and Kailash Ray’s sarod was in need of repair at the time of the interview. Hopefully, a video of them playing together as well as more stories will be forthcoming. ( by Arthur Mandelbaum 2011).


Tabla Paul Leake playing with Michael Bocian (audio with images).

The Flower Raj Original Music Sampler listen to Tabla Paul & other original music tracks (audio playlist).

Tara Bir Singh – “Nepal Sitar” (Amazon USA).

The Mind’s Ear, Larry Porter Tabla Trio (Paul Leake on tabla).

Uday Shankar Wikipedia.

Pandit Kamalesh Maitra (Culturebase).

Pandit Kamalesh Maitra (Amazon CD).

Mahapurush Mishra (Magic of Juju)

Pandit Jnan Prakash Ghosh (Wikipedia).

Ustad Keramat Khan (sadly no links found).

Ballygunge (Wikipedia).

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7 Responses to “Paul Leake & Kailash Ray Interviews I of III”

  • Very interesting interview. IMH. Camerawork needs more practice. Less panning and use of a tripod would help. A rehearsal, before actually making the finished interview is also a good idea, if possible.

  • Very interesting and entertaining. Personally I like the cinema verite feel of the video, it lends a reality and spontaneity that brings you into the room rather than the studied “professionalism” of many documentaries which makes you feel like a dispassionate observer. I am really impressed by the time and dedication that they invested in their musical education and Paul definitely knows how to tell an interesting anecdote. Can’t wait to see number III interview.

  • The second of the three interviews is now up at

    The third and final one will go up in a week or two.

  • This is long over due, these players should be interviewed again in more depth. The stories of their travels and teachings hold a lot of knowledge and appreciation to the Indian masters they crossed paths with. Being a jazz musician I was lucky enough to have played with Paul and share some of these great adventures of his through music and friendship. Here is a link to an improvised piece we did in the late nineties, just copy and pasted link to your URL. Thanks again for posting these great interviews. We’ll listen to again and pass them along.

    Michael Bocian featuring: Paul Leake “INDIA”

  • Noe Dinnerstein

    Hey Paul! Good to see you! Get in touch.

  • Nice to hear Paul charmingly relate these stories some of which he’d shared with me when I was his student. I’m still studying in the Pakistani community here in N.Y. Tabla’s one hard ass instrument!

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