Reggae On The River co-founder dead

By Howard Campbell
Observer senior writer

Monday, February 18, 2019

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Carol Bruno, co-founder of Reggae On The River concert in northern California, died on February 8 from breast cancer. She was 72.

Her death was confirmed by her husband John, who she was married to for more than 40 years. She is also survived by four children.

“Carol fought until the end, she loved life. She loved life, she loved the community, her legacy is one of total and pure love. She had an infectious laugh and a beautiful smile. It's really tough, man. It's really tough,” John Bruno told the Times Standard newspaper.

The Brunos are an integral part of Humboldt County, a nature-loving area in the Golden State where Carol and colleague Nancy Shelby started Reggae On The River in 1984. They initiated the event to raise funds to build a community centre which replaced a previous structure, which had been destroyed by fire.

Over the years, Reggae On The River became one of the top shows of its kind, attracting thousands of fans who came to see the music's biggest artistes.

The Mateel Community Center, which hosted the concert, saluted Bruno's tireless work as a fund-raiser and champion of reggae.

“Her contributions to Reggae On The River and the many shows she brought to the Mateel Community Center and her work for the community as one of the original founders of the Mateel four decades ago are an important and lasting legacy. Carol's work and dedication to further our Reggae On The River festival and our community centre is legendary. We are grateful to Carol, we honour her spirit and we send our love and our thoughts to her partner, John Bruno and to her family,” the statement read.

The 2019 Reggae On The River is scheduled for August 2-4.

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