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El Vez Lives!

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El Vez, a Mexican Elvis impersonator famous in his own right for his adding a Latin and political flavor to the King’s undying legend, is playing a free concert in downtown LA tonight at the California Plaza as part of the Grand Performances summer series.

El Vez doesn’t impersonate Elvis as much as redefines him, adding a Mexican twist to all we know about the King. Elvis classics become social commentaries on immigrant rights and identity politics, such as “You Ain’t Nothing but a Chihuhahua” and “In the Barrio.” His backup singers are called the Elvettes. The characteristic jumpsuits also have a distinct El Vez brand, featuring animal stripes and huge pictures of the Virgin Mary, which he constantly changes throughout the set. There is even partial nudity.

El Vez is celebrating the 30-year anniversary of Elvis’ death and premiering his upcoming “El Vez for Prez” tour.

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Concert begins at 8 p.m. at California Plaza, 300-350 S. Grand Ave, and will feature a children’s choir of local children, according to his Web site.

Photo by misskarenjean via Flickr