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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.

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

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