TORPEDO BAGS: A New American Manufacturer
Torpedo Bags was founded in 2001 by a professional trumpet player and teacher named Steve Kriesel. After importing the original CLASSIC for a few years, Steve tried out a new leather design made by a team a few miles from his house: The LOREDO was born in 2005, and it was simply gorgeous. Legends such as Byron Stripling and Sean Jones adopted this new case right away. In fact, the response was so positive that deliveries would sometimes — back then — drag out for 6 months. And the quality spoke volumes compared to the Classics that were still coming from overseas. It soon became clear that hiring his own staff was the only way to get the quality professionals were demanding, as well as aid him in controlling the delivery time of the cases. That was in 2008, and sales began to snowball after that.
Operating for the next two years in his basement, Steve and his Team of One started making more Loredos, a design used by Jumanne Smith, the lead player for Michael Bublé. They then designed the lightweight OUTLAW LOREDO, used by Michael Leonhart on his tours with Steely Dan, and Justin Ray when he’s out with Michael Bublé. And finally in 2009, the COYOTE 2.5+ came alive, making it the world’s only case with removable, interchangeable lids (SNIP, SNAP, & SNARL), and the only triple to carry a computer. The patented design won over the pro circuit, and was quickly adopted by players in the bands of Earth, Wind, & Fire (Bobby Burns, Jr.), Billy Joel (Carl Fischer), The Canadian Brass trumpets (Chris Coletti and Brandon Ridenour), John Mayer (Bryan Lipps), Late Night with David Letterman (Al Chez), Beyoncé and Michael Bolton (Kiku Collins). Name a major touring artist, and you will probably find a Torpedo Bag back stage. Chris Martin and John Hagstrom in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra also use the Coyote, as well as many other major symphonic players. The word got out, and the orders piled up.
But the case that made Torpedo Bags famous, the Classic, still outsells all the other Torpedo Bags. It’s the Original, preferred by elementary students and uber-pros alike, such as Marcus Printup in the Jazz @ Lincoln Center trumpet section. Completely redesigned and in-sourced in early 2010, there are thousands of Classics in use around the world. There has not been a single issue with wear or stitching, which has always been the norm for their US made goods. This is one company that prefers to not mess around with quality.
The Torpedo Bag Company hit another milestone in September 2012: They sold the last overseas-made inventory of the SINGLE OUTLAW, a 3 pound “gig case.” This presented an opportunity to redesign it, of course, and also to make it themselves: THE 2012 USA OUTLAW was born on October 1st, 2012. They expect this case to outsell even the Classic, and have produced a suit bag to zip on and wrap around the case called the SIDEWINDER, as well as a way to link two Outlaws together with the WHIPTAIL, and something called the CHUCKWALLA.
Moving out of the basement in late 2010, there are now 6 employees working tirelessly to support the orders. During the upcoming months, the trumpet world will get their first look at new innovative designs, new leather finishes, new product videos, this new website, and new artists. Following that will be a few trombone cases, and then…
Does anyone know any famous guitar players?
A Note from Steve Kriesel
We make cases for the long haul. My kids get too many toys that (are designed to) break after a few hours of play, and that kind of manufacturing behavior really gets me mad. So we use big ol’ zippers, really thick leather, and overkill fabric. The way I see it, you should be a repeat customer not because your case fell apart, but because you bought another trumpet. To me, it just seems silly to make things on the cheap that are going to be holding $2000+ instruments.
I’m so thankful to all the folks out there who support us, and if you’re new to what we do here, I know that you won’t be disappointed. We make these in the USA, 20 feet from my desk, for a reason.
If you’re a pro, I trust that you are always booked. If you’re an amateur, please continue to bring enjoyment to yourself and others through your music. If you’re a student — especially the young ones — go practice! It’s the only way to get where you want to go!
And wherever any of you go with your music, I hope you’ll consider taking a Torpedo Bag with you. THANKS!
Torpedo Bags, Inc.