Funeral services held for San Antonio’s beloved ‘Hispanic Elvis’

The performer, whose real name is John Esquivel, died last month at the age of 76

The San Antonio icon known only as Hispanic Elvis died on March 30, 2022. (Mark Shobani Photography, Mark Sobhani Photography)

SAN ANTONIO – Funeral services were held Saturday morning for the beloved San Antonio icon known as ‘Hispanic Elvis.’

The performer — whose real name is John Esquivel — died last month at the age of 76.

His brother, George Cisneros, told KSAT that services would be held Saturday at the Hillcrest Funeral Home at 1281 Bandera Road and was open to the public.

  • Memorial service from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Rosary will be recited at noon.

Hispanic Elvis was known for entertaining crowds at Market Square for more than two decades.

He died two months after becoming sick with an infection in his esophagus and COVID-19.

After news broke about his illness, fans shared photos and sent their well wishes.

(Image of "Hispanic Elvis" at Mi Tierra provided by Texas Eats host David Elder.)

Hispanic Elvis was born and raised on the city’s West Side. Cisneros said they grew up in a small house behind the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center.

While many people are aware of his current persona as Hispanic Elvis, Cisneros said his brother played guitar in a band in the 1960s, performing at historic venues like Patio Andaluz near downtown.

Cisneros said his brother always had a penchant for wearing nice clothing and would buy his clothes at Penner’s. He said that his brother liked the way Elvis dressed, but was “more of James Brown fan,” noting he would mimic Brown’s dance moves during performances.

Before he spent the majority of his time at Market Square, Cisneros said Hispanic Elvis started his street performances in the front of the Alamo and would like to pose as a mannequin in front of Ripley’s Museum to have fun with visitors.

In September, local artist Colton Valentine paid tribute to Hispanic Elvis by painting a mural of the man on San Pedro Avenue. The mural shows Hispanic Elvis riding his bicycle, a common sight near downtown and the West Side, with his homemade guitar, sunglasses and flashy attire. “I’m so grateful to the artist who drew that mural,” Cisneros said.

Do you have a memory or picture with Hispanic Elvis? Share your memories or well wishes in the comments of this story. You can upload your picture on ksat.com/pins. We may use your photo in a gallery or on our newscasts.

Related Video: Brother of “Hispanic Elvis” talks about his legacy and community’s support during his illness.


About the Authors:

RJ Marquez is co-host of KSAT News Now and reports for Good Morning San Antonio. He's been at KSAT since 2010 and covered a variety of stories and events across the San Antonio area. He also covers the Spurs for on-air and digital platforms, including his Spurs newsletter. RJ has reported stories for KSAT Explains.

Julie Moreno has worked in local television news for more than 20 years. She came to KSAT as a news producer in 2000. After producing thousands of newscasts, she transitioned to the digital team in 2015. She writes on a wide variety of topics from breaking news to trending stories and manages KSAT’s daily digital content strategy.