Billboard Bits: Lou Reed, Jazz Aspen, Olatunji

News on Lou Reed, Jazz Aspen, Olatunji

ReedWith the help of producer 7 Aurelius (Mary J. Blige, Alicia Keys), Lou Reed has reworked his classic song "Walk on the Wild Side." The new version of the song, titled "Walk on the Wild Side (Georgie Joins the Army)," is available on the singer's official Web site and sports a newly written verse: "Georgie went to join the army / earn some money to keep the family out of harm's way / now he's in the desert looking out for gas / he never dreamed of kickin' no Iraqi ass."

Reed will kick off a four-week North American tour June 3 in Philadelphia, to be preceded by an April 21-22 stand at New York's Bowery Ballroom and a European trek, which begins May 5 in Dublin. The shows come in support of his latest Sire album "The Raven," as well as the upcoming compilation "NYC Man: The Ultimate Lou Reed Collection."

Here are Lou Reed's North American tour dates:

April 21-22: New York (Bowery Ballroom)
June 3: Philadelphia (Tower Theater)
June 4: Vienna, Va. (Wolf Trap)
June 7: Boston (Orpheum Theater)
June 8: Gilford, N.H. (Meadowbrook Farm)
June 10-11: New York (Town Hall)
June 13: Toronto (Massey Hall)
June 15: Chicago (Skyline Stage/Navy Pier)
June 19: Tempe, Ariz. (Marquee Theater)
June 21-22: San Francisco (Warfield)
June 24: Los Angeles (Wiltern Theater)
June 26: Saratoga, Calif. (Mountain Winery)
June 28: Portland, Ore. (Roseland Theater)
June 29: Seattle (Moore Theater)

-- Jason MacNeil, Toronto; Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

TonyTony Bennett, Boz Scaggs, Shemekia Copeland, and Joe Cocker are among the artists confirmed to appear during this year's Janus Jazz Aspen Snowmass. Set for June 19-22, the event takes place at Rio Grande Park in Aspen, Colo. Along with those ticketed evening mainstage performers, the festival will feature free daytime concerts by Kermit Ruffins and the BBQ Swingers, Tierney Sutton, and others yet to be confirmed. A full schedule of late night JAS After Dark club performances is also forthcoming.

Jazz Aspen Snowmass ticket information can be obtained by calling the JAS Box Office (866-JAS-TIXX) or visiting the festival's
official Web site.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

TonyNigerian drummer Babatunde Olatunji, whose albums introduced African percussion to a wide U.S. audience, died Sunday of diabetes in Salinas, Calif.,
Billboard Bulletin reports. He was 76.

In 1960, Columbia released Olatunji's "Drums of Passion," one of the first major-label albums of world music. The track "Gin-Go-Lo-Ba" was reworked by Santana as "Jingo," an instrumental on the band's 1969 debut.

In the early '60s, Olatunji established the Olatunji Center for African Culture in New York, with aid from John Coltrane. Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart arranged for the release of Olatunji's '80s albums on Rykodisc; the two toured together in the '90s.

-- Chris Morris, L.A.