WINTERPLAY is a pop jazz group consisting of Juhan Lee and Haewon. Haewon is the vocalist, and Juhan is the producer, songwriter, and trumpet player for the group. He is also the founder and leader of this pop jazz team.
The team was created in the cold winter of 2007. And, they released their first album <Choco Snowball, 2008> in just 2 months. That fall, their digital single <Happy Bubble, 2008> ranked number one in all Korean Jazz Charts, and it stayed that way for almost a year, establishing them as a K-Pop group. <Hot Summerplay, 2009>, their special summer album, went GOLD DISC in the category of jazz in less than 6 months, making them the most recognizable pop jazz group in Korea.
Their talent in live music performance, song writing & arrangements and CD sales prompted a love call from Japan. Their showcase performance at the 2008 "Tokyo Asia Music Market" gave them an international deal with Universal Music Japan Classics & Jazz. Within one week of release for their 1st album in Japan, <Songs of Colored Love, 2009>, their title song "Songs of Colored Love" hit Number 1 in both the ITunes Jazz Chart and Recochoku (Ringtone Ranking Site) Jazz Music Category. No Korean jazz artists have 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.
Their impressive sales performance and music production quality brought them to London for their 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 world wide 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. Their 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. For their fans, they played solo concert to a sold out crowd of 1200 seats.
To date, they have released their album in 26 countries worldwide. In Korea, they are known as trendsetters of a new kind of music, that fuses both pop and jazz. They are also known as one of the first Hallyu music group to promote music and gain recognition abroad. Their 3rd Korean album, <Two Fabulous Fools, 2013>, was just released this summer. In October of this year, Universal Music Hong Kong also released <Two Fabulous Fools, 2013> in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau. Within one month of release, they 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”