Ernie Durawa is probably best known as drummer for the Texas Tornados. He first started playing in Mexican conjunto bands in San Antonio, Texas, when he was eleven years old. Soon after that Ernie Durawa discovered Jimmy Reed, Little Richard, Buddy Rich, Gene Krupa, Max Roach, and Elvin Jones - so his whole concept of music went from Mexican to blues to jazz. And growing up in Texas, Ernie Durawa heard a lot of country music.
In the early 1970s Ernie Durawa spent three years in Chicago, studying with the great drum teacher Roy C. Knapp.
After his return to Austin, Ernie Durawa started playing with his childhood friend Doug Sahm, and then later was offered the gig with Delbert McClinton. Ernie Durawa went on the road with Delbert from 1977 until 1981, and they did Saturday Night Live, Solid Gold, and Austin City Limits among others.
After Ernie Durawa left the band he rejoined Doug Sahm in the Sir Douglas Quintet. After several European tours, in 1989 they went in the studio and the Texas Tornados were born. Their cd went on to win a Grammy for Best Mexican American Performance.