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Mariah Carey’s 2005 single “Shake It Off” is not a folk song. But contemporary folk artist Sam Amidon thought it should be, so on his recent album Bright Sunny South, he made it one. For the Vermont-born son of folk artists Peter and Mary Alice Amidon, testing the genre’s limits has become a habit; he’s filled out arrangements with harpsichord tracks by classical composer Nico Muhly, and he frequently collaborates with multi-instrumentalist and producer Doveman. Just don’t call Amidon a hayseed; as Bright Sunny South shows, he’s far too cosmopolitan to deserve that. Read more >>> Sam Amidon performs at 8 p.m. at Sixth & I Historic Synagogue, 600 I St. NW. $12–$14. (202) 408-3100. sixthandi.org. (Caroline Jones)
More than 30 of Washington’s best restaurants and bars will serve up dishes and drinks at the American Cancer Society’s Taste of Hope event tonight at the Carnegie Library. Fourteen chefs and mixologists have been participating in a weight loss challenge in the 12 weeks leading up to the event, raising more than $20,000 for the nonprofit along the way. At the gala, the person who lost the greatest percentage of body weight will be crowned the winner. Tickets cost $150 for general admission at 7:30 p.m. or $250 for VIP entry, which gets you in the door an hour earlier. All proceeds go toward fighting cancer. Carnegie Library, 801 K St. NW. tasteofhopedc.org. (Jessica Sidman)
OH AND ALSO
The first annual District Improv Festival begins tonight at Source Theatre with a free performances by six long-form improv groups from around D.C. 8:30 p.m. at 1835 14th St. NW.
Enjoy performances from Vaclav Havel‘s Unveiling and Spitfire Company’s new work Antiwords, inspired by Havel’s one-act Audience, at Atlas Performing Arts Center as part of the Mutual Inspirations Festival. 8 p.m. at 1333 H St. NE. $20–$30.
Million Dollar Quartet, the catchy jukebox musical about the time Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, and Carl Perkins recorded together, returns to the Kennedy Center for a two-week run. 7:30 p.m. at 2700 F St. NW. $59–$120.
Folk-inspired trio The End of America plays the Black Cat Backstage with American Opera and The Mean Season. 8 p.m. at 1811 14th St. NW. $10.
Head to U Street Music Hall for empanadas and sets from Sabo, Nadastrom, and Thee Mike B at Moombahton Massive XXIX. 9 p.m. at 1115 U St. NW. $10.
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