In 2005, the Urban Music Fest was created in response to the African American Quality of Life Initiative to create an experience in Austin, TX that lovers of R&B, Jazz, neo-soul, and gospel could enjoy. Founded by Donnie Little and Homer Hill, Urban Life Group was formed to organize the first festival to be held at the Town Lake Auditorium. April 8th, 2006, the first and only R&B festival in Austin kicked off concurrent to the Texas Relays.Urban Music Fest and the Texas Relays is Austin's largest African American tourist weekend each year with over 60,000 visitors. Urban Music Festderives from an Afrocentric perspective. We program R&B music and its subgenres such as Jazz, Blues, and Hip Hop. Every lineup showcases local, regional and national artists. From Chaka Khan to Johnny Gill to Dru Hill, the Urban Music Fest has not missed the mark on highlighting true R&B artists. Each year UMF has a variety of food vendors, retailers, and service organizations. With over 9,000 attendees, we attract a diverse population of festival patrons in a family-friendly environment.
The festival also conceived the Soul Tree Collective Young Band Project in 2006. It was formed to address the needs of the fledgling R&B genres that were being overshadowed by the emerging and dominant Hip Hop and Rap genres.
The Soultree Collective was created to encourage today's youth to learn about and engage in the fundamentals of the music industry though the classic genre of the 70's – 90's R&B. Central Texas youth ages 10yrs old to 21 yrs old are encouraged to audition to become a part of this year's band.