Winterplay is a pop-jazz artist from South Korea currently consisting of one member: Juhan Lee as producer, songwriter and trumpet player. Winterplay debuted in 2007 and currently has 4 full albums out, with the last album titled, “Jazz Cookin’” 2019. Winterplay released his first album <Choco Snowball> in 2008. The hit single <Happy Bubble, 2008> ranked number one in all Korean Jazz Charts, and it stayed that way for almost a year, establishing Winterplay as a K-Pop artist. <Hot Summerplay, 2009>, went GOLD DISC in the category of jazz in less than 6 months, making Winterplay the most recognizable pop jazz artist in Korea. Winterplay has received critical praise for being the first to lead the pop-jazz scene in Asia. In a 2012 magazine interview, he coined his music as K-Jazz, jazz with a Korean flavor.
By 2009, Winterplay singed an international distribution deal with Universal Music Japan Classics & Jazz. Within one week of release, the 1st single in Japan, "Songs of Colored Love", hit Number 1 in both the ITunes Jazz Chart and Recochoku (Ringtone Ranking Site) Jazz Music Category. No Korean jazz artist has ever achieved that status in Japan, and it allowed Winterplay to perform at Blue Note, Billboard Live and Mister Kelly's, just to name a few of the most prestigious clubs with regular performances by both jazz greats and current international pop artists.
The impressive sales performance and music production quality brought Winterplay to London for his first international release showcase in the fall of 2010. Music Critic, Clive Davis, for the SUNDAY TIMES in United Kingdom gave a rating of 4 out of 5 stars. He compared Winterplay to the American band "Pink Martini", and stated, ¡°The group showed innovative music that demolished the separation between jazz, pop, and lounge. In 2011 January issue of Financial Times, global trend setter and UK celebrity magazine's Editor in Chief of Monocle, Tyler Brûlé, listed Winterplay's Music on his Top 10 item, that should be exported worldwide from Korea. Winterplay has also been able to break through a tough music market usually dominated by K-Pop Idols, when speaking of Korean Artists in Hong Kong. Winterplay's 2nd Album, <Sunshines, 2011>, made Number 1 Sales for Jazz Albums at the Hong Kong HMV record store and a GOLD DISC in the category of jazz.
In 2013, Universal Music Hong Kong released <Two Fabulous Fools, 2013> in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau. Within one month of release, Winterplay ranked Number 1 in Jazz Albums Sales Chart and ranked TOP 34 in Total CD Sales for All Categories at the Hong Kong HMV Record Store for “Two Fabulous Albums”. In 2019, Winterplay released his 4th album titled <Jazz Cookin’>. The album fuses 80’s style music in today’s sound with soulful song like “All About Love” and 80’s funk style song “Jazz Foo Foo”.
Winterplay’s latest jazz ballad, “Gganbu (067 & 240)” was inspired by Netflix Drama “Squid Games” featuring the Korean Instrument, Haegum. On 2022 International Jazz Day, Winterplay was the Music Show Runner for the concert, which was funded by the City of Seoul. In the 90-minute show, Winterplay hosted the show, performed, and directed over 30 jazz musicians in 4 different venues in the city of Seoul.