Swing singer and band leader Peter Petty performs in Sacramento. (Photo courtesy of Peter Petty)
Peter Petty is a Sacramento-based band leader who celebrates swing music with a repertoire that includes jazz, blues, holiday favorites and uproarious big band tunes. His live shows boast a band of about five people when he’s at smaller venues such as Torch Club to a stage full of 20 players when he puts on his annual Christmas blast, traditionally held at The Sofia with a venue change in 2023 to The Crest Theater
Before the heat hit Sacramento, these two strangers faced each other at Philz Coffee on R Street to wax on about each other’s art, creative process, struggles, triumphs and trauma.
Petty: So my first question to you is: What did you do for your murals that the city only left them to stay up for a limited time?
Rodriguez: Oh! Joe Serna was still the mayor and I did this pretty big [mural]. It basically was about him.
Petty: It was a little critical.
Rodriguez: Yeah. He was trying to set up a misdemeanor boot camp for juveniles. He was trying to make Hughes Stadium —
Petty: I do remember that.
Rodriguez: Yeah, he was trying to make it a bootcamp for tough love. He closed [cruising] down, which just recently got put back up again. It was funny because [Serna] came on like a Chicano kind of ticket. So to do that shit is just contrary.