Artwork by Jerry Kearns
Music by Russell Steinberg
Video by Carlton Bright


Provoking laughter and contemplation, Paleface takes audiences on a psychological journey through the mythology and masks of the American hero through a fusion of live music and video, both equal partners.


24 minute trio for violin, cello, and piano (plus kazoos!) fused with video projection in three movements:
I. Wild West
II. Action Hero
III. Into Night


Paleface is a 24 minute multimedia performance with a live piano trio (for violin, cello, and piano) by award-winning LA composer Russell Steinberg with dynamic video by D. Carlton Bright of artwork by acclaimed NYC “psychological pop” artist Jerry Kearns. Both the paintings and music explore the mythology underlining the American narrative. Kearns’ tragi-comic imagery is mirrored in an American folksong mash-up of galloping rhythms inside the metal bars of the piano, followed by a fanfare of kazoos. Paleface traces American male icons, gunslingers, film noir detectives, action heroes, and Jesus through three movements titled Wild West, Action Hero,and Into Night.

The premiere performance of Paleface was given by the Neave Trio in New York January 5, 2018 at the Dimenna Center, followed by a Los Angeles premiere by Trio Accento on March 7, 2018 at Mimoda Studio.


Artist Jerry Kearns has exhibited internationally across the Americas, Europe, and Asia since the 1980s. He has been featured many times in The New York Times, Art and Auction, ARTnews, and Artforum, among others. His paintings and prints are included in many public and private collections, including the Museum of Modern Art (New York), National Galerie (Berlin), Brooklyn Museum (New York), the Art Institute of Chicago, Whitney Museum of American Art (New York), The Norton Family Collection (Los Angeles), San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and Queensland Art Gallery (Queensland, Australia). 

Composer Russell Steinberg writes music that reviewers call “freshly lyrical, pulsating, edgy, infectious” and “shimmering with great beauty and energy.” His orchestral tone poem Cosmic Dust was featured in Science News to celebrate the 25thanniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope. His Daniel Pearl Foundation commission Stories From My Favorite Planet has been performed numerous times on the West Coast.Steinberg’s awards include ASCAP PLUS, ASCAP Young Composers Grant, Composers Inc. and NACUSA prizes, New World String Quartet competition, and fellowships to the MacDowell Colony, Aspen Composers Institute, and Avaloch Farm.


Videographer D. Carlton Bright is a self-taught visual artist who has been working out of New York City for the past 27 years. He has found his artistic direction has been influenced by many things, including his eclectic history of activities needed for basic financial income and other various experiences.


Book a live performance of Paleface with one of our trios or your own local ensemble that includes discussions with Artist Jerry Kearns and Composer Russell Steinberg.  For more info, email Russell Steinberg at