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Many critics hailed D’Gary’s debut record and its follow-up for the performer’s use of multiple open tunings and his stunning technique. But the Madagascar native reportedly felt limited by the easy-listening folk-music songcraft he employed. So for 1994’s Horombe, this one-time teenage-dance-band participant added a larger supporting combo and started strumming with more energy. On his latest effort, Akata Meso, D’Gary tries to split the difference. Aided only by singer Rataza and a handful of percussionists, D’Gary alternates between the complex, transposed tones of his Indian Ocean island home and simpler but more passionate Afro-pop. Despite Rataza’s gorgeous voice, the results are mixed. D’Gary plays at 6 p.m. at the Kennedy Center’s “Millennium Stage.” Free. (202) 467-4600. (Steve Kiviat)