Born in Texas, Domingo “Sunny” Ortiz started playing drums at age 12 in conjunto and tejano bands. In 1971, he became interested in congas by listening to Santana, Earth Wind & Fire, War, Kool & the Gang, and Tower of Power, to name a few.
Willie Bobo, Willie Colon, Mongo Santamaria, The Fania All-Stars, and Tito Puente heavily influenced Sunny’s playing. While in Austin, Texas, he worked on percussion with local musicians including Jay Williams and the Tribe, Spur of the Moment, Texas Electric, Crosstown, Christopher Cross, and Tomas Rameriz.
After moving to Georgia in 1986, Sunny hooked up with Widespread Panic and is still performing with them today.