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The mighty Orquesta Basura played a free set this weekend at the Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso, in Mexico City’s historic center. The capital generates 12,000 metric tons of trash daily, and an estimated quarter-million people make a living of one kind of another off of trash, including pickers, recyclers, haulers–and these four musicians.

They make their instruments out of junk (including the helmet mounted “trompe-cabezas” trumpet, above), and their repertoire is a sweet-smelling salvage job that picks over some of the best semi-forgotten popular dance styles from around the world: tango, gypsy jazz, klezmer, polka, &c. Fitting for a city whose most beloved taco comes from Lebanon.

Here’s the Orquesta playing “Besame Mucho” at a 2011 festival:

Photos: [RF]

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