A band that pays homage to the late rocker Tom Petty formed slowly from an Auburn open mic series.

The roots of Petty Thieves — which performs at 8 p.m. March 24 at the Morgan Opera House, 370 Main St., Aurora — date back to September 2016.

That’s when Sam Pruyn, a Long Island transplant to the Cayuga County area, began appearing at Auburn Public Theater’s open mic events. Pruyn met local entertainers such as Carey Eidel, Bob Brower, Scott Anderson and Loren Miller and would jam on Sunday mornings. Pruyn and Miller began performing a duo set, and they later heard JD Balloni performing Petty material and formed a trio to do Petty and related artists’ songs. The response was enthusiastic. The group soon added Eliott “Oz” Vanderveer, bassist with Miller in their classic rock band Rockinspiel, and Auburn drummer Rich Howard.

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