Excursion's music is an eclectic blend of ethnic styles and progressive jazz and its members are as eclectic and progressive as the music they create. While some of Excursion's players often rotate, its core consists of the duo with Peter Deneff (piano) and Vik Momjian (bass). Together, they weave a web of rhythm, harmony, and improvisation that makes the project's compositions spring to life.
Peter Deneff grew up listening to Greek music and studying classical piano with Leaine Gibson. After starting his professional musical life at age fifteen, he became obsessed with straight-ahead and Latin jazz. He began jazz studies with renowned pianist Mike Garson (of David Bowie fame), where he crafted his art through studying some of the great jazz improvisers such as Charlie Parker, Bud Powell, Chick Corea, Whinton Kelly, Horace Silver, Mike Garson, and others. During this time, he also studied many ethnic styles that eventually led to the compositions and collaborations of Excursion. Peter received a Bachelor of Arts degree in music composition from California State University Long Beach, where he is completing his master's degree in composition. He spends his time teaching, performing, composing, recording software and cds for Yamaha Corp. and Hal Leonard Corp. as well as writing books for Hal Leonard Publishing.
Vik Momjian is a master of the four, five, and six-string, fretted and fretless electric basses. While his musical roots started on the piano at age nine, Vik turned to the guitar at age fourteen and ultimately discovered his true voice through the electric bass at age fifteen. Having studied with many significant musicians, three of Vik's most influential instructors were Jim Lacefield, Steve Bailey, and John Pena. In addition, he has his own line of basses and is endorsed by many notable companies. Over the last few years, Vik has established himself as the first-call musician for many top Middle Eastern and ethno-European artists. When he's not touring the world with these artists, he spends his days in town doing sessions, teaching, and playing with Excursion. His soulful playing not only brings enormous heart to the project, but it is an integral part of the band's sound and energy.He has a brilliant sense of groove and is a unique improviser, with his incredible dexterity and slapping techniques.
The group's self-titled CD, "EXCURSION," is a colorful fusion of Middle Eastern and Latin jazz styles and was featured twice at the Playboy Jazz Festival. It was recorded at Musician's Institute, Hollywood where Peter and Vik were instructors. The CD marks an important step in the development of the group's sound and is available right here and in many fine music stores and websites.