Art & Jazz Night w Greg Parnell Group

Hollerbach’s Art Haus Soft Launch on Sanford Art & Jazz Night

Sanford Art & Jazz Night is a multi-venue celebration of visual and auditory arts that occurs on the 3rd Thursday of each month. On May 19th, the venues hosting live music and exhibiting artists will be Hollerbach’s Willow Tree Cafe, Tuffy’s Music Box & Lounge, Sanford Brewing Company, Deviant Wolfe Brewing and Magpies Modern General Store.

Hollerbach’s presentation of art and jazz will take place in their upstairs biergarten, coinciding with a sneak preview of their Art Haus — an innovative gallery that will display emerging artists’ work for sale, with long-term revenues donated to the Hollerbach’s Has Heart non profit. This exciting cross-section launch event has been spearheaded by Moriah Russo, Hollerbach’s captivating new Gallery Director and Director of Hollerbach’s Has Heart.

Sanford Art & Jazz Night


Some may know that each Thursday night, Hollerbach’s Willow Tree Cafe hosts live jazz music by the Greg Parnell Group up the staircase in their enchanting ‘biergarten’. Unlike downstairs, seating is first-come, first serve–no check-in required. Once transported into this pristine world of hanging vines and beautiful displays of artwork by the renowned Linda Hollerbach, Greg Parnell and his group of three rotating artists will serenade you with beautiful renditions of classics while providing educational tidbits about their origins and historical significance which help the listeners better appreciate what they are consuming.

Beginning May 19th, each third Thursday of the month will become an elevated auditory and visual experience curated by Moriah Russo, Gallery Director of Hollerbach’s Art Haus.

Plus, at this inaugural event, you can expect to enjoy light refreshments, including Chicken Salad Crostinis, Pretzels with Beer Cheese, Chocolate Covered Cake Balls, and a selection of German Wines.


As aforementioned, the jazz performed Thursday, May 19th will be done by the Greg Parnell Group. The Greg Parnell Group is a rotation of jazz artists, led by Parnell himself. This Sanford Art & Jazz Night will feature Greg Parnell on drums, James Hall on keys, Michael Santos on bass, plus special guest Central Florida Jazz Society UCF student scholarship winner Quint Johnson. Parnell is the Director of the Central Florida Jazz Society, which offers one student each month an opportunity to earn experience with the critically acclaimed Greg Parnell Group as they perform their various gigs each month.

Greg Parnell Group


May’s Sanford Art & Jazz Night event will also mark the first-ever sneak preview of Hollerbach’s Art Haus, directed by recently appointed Gallery Director, Moriah Russo, whom I had the pleasure to sit with and discuss the event. Though Russo joined the Hollerbach’s team in only March 2022, when we walked through the facilities each member of staff who interacted with her, showed such ease and friendliness to her. She is warm, open, and enthusiastic about not only the execution of the Art Haus, but the platform it could give to emerging artists in the Orlando area. To Russo it’s not just a job, it’s a mission.

Growing up between Central Florida and London, England, Moriah Russo has been raised not only with an appreciation for art and art history but also for elevating diverse, multi-cultural artists in creative arrangements. After graduating from Rollins College’s Art History program, Russo began a decade-long quest of organizing art initiatives from her “DIY” visual arts exhibition series named “Agencies” to hosting outdoor public art festivals in Orlando through her tenure with the Downtown Arts District. When asked about her favorite medium and/or style of art, Russo struggled to answer. It was as if I asked a mother to choose her favorite child. She has such a passion for all expressions of art–the perfect prerequisite to organizing events on behalf of the Art Haus, like Sanford’s Art & Jazz Night. Her approach to art is grounded, focused on honoring the artist in question and providing opportunities to those who may not be able to display their work otherwise.

Hollerbach’s affinity for the arts does not begin with the appointment of Russo. Linda Hollerbach, co-founder of Hollerbach’s Willow Tree Cafe on 1st Street, has used art as a tool for healing over the years after a battle with breast cancer. In her upstairs studio overlooking the Hotchkiss Alley mural, she tinkers with paints, embroidery, beads, and even personally brands each of the Hollerbach’s ~160 employees’ wooden name tags. Her work can be found all across the restaurant, even in the women’s bathrooms. Likewise, Christina Hollerbach has been involved with local art initiatives from film (Love Your Shorts) to chorus (Orlando Gay Chorus) for years and engages in personal art as a form of self-expression (singing, tap dancing, and even improv performances). When you put Linda and Christina together, magic happens.

Art Haus Linda Hollerbach

The vision of the Art Haus began years ago but has never found a physical space within Hollerbach’s Willow Tree Cafe until now. The art space is still being tinkered with by Russo’s team, but beginning on May 19th, one can expect to see art displayed on the walls of the upstairs biergarten itself and within part of the future gallery space

The featured artist at May’s Sanford Art & Jazz Night will be Alex Jaggers, an Orlando-based painter showcasing 10-12 oil pieces in her first-ever solo show. All of her pieces will be available for sale. Long-term, Hollerbach’s proceeds will be funneled directly into the Hollerbach Has Heart foundation.

Sanford Art & Jazz Alex Jaggers


Hollerbach’s Has Heart is Hollerbach’s in-house 501c3 non-profit organization. Originally its launch was meant to coincide with Hollerbach’s 22nd anniversary but was expedited to distribute funds to laid-off staff during the COVID crisis, which greatly affected the Food and Beverage Industry.

As the world began to ‘open up’ more, funds were able to pivot toward community organizations. Its vision is to serve the Sanford community, individuals working in hospitality, and invest in organizations in need throughout the broader Seminole County area. So far, a primary fundraiser for Hollerbach’s Has Heart has been a weekly Bingo event that takes place each Tuesday night, collecting anywhere from $200-$650 for a list of rotating local organizations. Bingo winners can walk home with a variety of exotic German meats and the satisfaction of knowing their hard-earning money is going to a good cause.

The launch of the Art Haus is the next phase in the growth of Hollerbach’s Has Heart, which Moriah Russo also directs. Any portion of the proceeds that usually would go to the gallery in a traditional art setting instead goes directly to Hollerbach’s Has Heart, and by proxy local organizations which need the funds.

Hollerbach's Has Heart


Moriah Russo expressed her plans to expand the event offerings presented by Art Haus in the future, by including art classes led by Linda Hollerbach herself. The proceeds from these events will funnel toward Hollerbach’s Has Heart.

You can meet the Greg Parnell Group (the featured musicians), Alex Jaggers (Art Haus’s featured visual artist), and Moriah Russo (the new Gallery Director of Art Haus) on-site at Sanford Art & Jazz Night on Thursday, May 19th and learn more about their vision for the future of Sanford art and Sanford Art & Jazz Night.

Join Hollerbach’s Willow Tree Cafe and the Sanford Art & Jazz Night each 3rd Thursday of the month to enjoy a relaxing, educational musical experience accompanied by emerging artists and light refreshments. The next event dates will be: May 19, June 16, and July 21. You won’t want to miss this multi-venue celebration of art spanning across our historic downtown!

Allison van Tilborgh

Allison van Tilborgh began her vegan journey while studying abroad in Rome, Italy in early 2020. Inspired by multi-cultural cooking and culinary activism, Allison began The Sanford Vegan food blog in 2021 on Instagram and Facebook, which highlights local vegan dishes and her own creations. Follow her @thesanfordvegan for local vegan offerings, events, and news.