Though Jackie Ward’s diverse, jazz-loving friends—and she has lots of them—have long gathered in the soundproofed top floor of her 77-year-old Kaimuki home, her social jam sessions at Ward’s Rafters are perpetually fresh and eclectic.
On lazy Sunday afternoons—just right for a bring-your-own picnic supper—or during Friday and Saturday evenings’ dynamic Global Caravan, you might hear chamber music, jazz, bluegrass, Latin, or a new visiting artist.
“I never know what’s going to happen until someone calls and then we’re off in a different direction,” says Ward. “Every performance is new, because what we hear that night is new.”
And that’s perfect for this vivacious patron who just wants to bring new people together. New Jass Quartet formed here early on, and Ward says friendships and even marriages are sparked as people get comfy on seat cushions and discover music they never knew they liked.
And it’s all possible merely through kind donations of friends—old and new.  
This Saturday January 23 it’s Loose Screws improv comedy at the Rafters.
3810 Mauna Loa Ave, Kaimuki between 15th & 16th (the big, three-story house in the back); 808.735.8012,, byob.
Originally published in Modern Luxury Hawaii Magazine fall 2009