An Artie Shaw-influenced swing-era clarinetist, Winter formed his first orchestra and made his first records in 1930s Berlin. He recorded for the German-based Tempo label during World War II with such artists as Willi Berking and Meg Tevelian. After the war he relocated to Vienna and became an Austrian citizen. Winter formed his Vienna Dance Orchestra in 1946; the band had great success performing for, among others, American soldiers during the post-war occupation. The group played a successful extended engagement at Vienna's Wintergarden circa 1947-50. Like his musical model, Shaw, Winter retired from playing jazz in the mid 1950s.