Honolulu, Hawaii – It’s not often tourists go to a place most locals have never heard of. But then again, it’s not often that an amazing jazz club is located in a 93 year old woman’s attic. Ward’s Rafters is the place this tourist, along with this tourist’s mother, went to.
But remember; it’s onMaunaloa Avenue,NOT Magnolia Avenue. That little autocorrecting map mistake almost got my mom and I kidnapped, chopped into tiny bits, and sold on the black market labeled “soylent green”. Or so my imagination tells me.
What happened was I had printed out multiple maps, zooming in the closer you drove, accompanied by very detailed instructions. The only problem was that they were the wrong directions. So off we went on a rambling journey through the various neighborhoods, finally leading us to a very sketchy house. It was located at the very end of a dead end street that had little to no street lights, and lots of dark corners. The house itself was neatly decorated with iron bars on all the lower windows, and an ornamental rusting car was displayed on the front lawn. “This can’t be it” my mother said. “Maybe we should go knock?” I asked. For some reason she rejected that idea, and suggested we call someone with a computer to check if we had made a mistake. Thank goodness we called. Our gracious computer friend gave us the correct address, and we went on our way to the correct house.
We knew at once that this new house was the correct place, as finding a parking spot was like a needle in a hay stack. On the outside it is a very large, very friendly house. You walk down a path to the back yard, picturesque plants lining either side, some blooming, others not. Then stepping up the exterior staircase you go to the very top level of the house. Inside the place is spacious yet cozy room, with couches lining the walls, and white wicker chairs forming rows on either side of a narrow walkway.
Early birds bring picnic lunches and stake out the prime spots, leaving the late comers searching for the remaining ally chairs with flattened cushions. An Improv troupe is what drew us to the place, but the music afterwards is what made us stay. The Improv was so-so, not that great, but not awful. The jazz after however, was amazing. Some make arrangements to play; others just seem to show up.
You can only get in by “invite only”, since it’s a business in a residential district. But that’s easily thwarted if you just contact either the owner, or the owner’s son, as it’s just a loophole. How much is it you ask? Well, it’s free, but donations are very welcome. So be careful how much you have in your wallet, else you may donate everything you have to support the place, and keep it running.
Jae, Age 17