Most won't associate jazz, classical music, pop and rock music with an accordion, but this is how China-born accordionist Annie Gong is taking the instrument to the next level.
"People would have heard of one-man-band, but I am a one-woman-orchestra and the only one in New Zealand," proclaimed Gong, who moved to Auckland 20 years ago and has for a most part been performing globally and on cruise ships.
But Covid-19 has grounded her, and Gong - voted musician of the year in 2019 by the Federation of American Musicians Singers and Performing Artists - is looking at establishing herself on home soil.
Gong will be one of the headline acts at the Auckland Lantern Festival's opening evening on March 4, and will also be performing for VIPs and invited guests later that night.
"I am excited to be performing on home base, and I cannot wait to show and surprise New Zealanders with what I can do with the accordion I call 'my baby'," she said.
"My biggest passion is to bring the accordion into the 20th century because I believe it is one of the most powerful and yet underrated musical instruments."
Gong started playing the accordion at age five, and learned to master the instrument with the Tianjin Conservatory of Music.
"My parents were very strict, and they gave me little choice with what I do with my music - I just had to be the best."
Gong said that as a child she used to practise the accordion for hours every day, often missing out on play time with friends.
She also toured extensively around China as a soloist with some of the country's most prestigious symphony orchestras.
Then one day, as a young adult, Gong's parents felt she had reached the pinnacle of what she could do in China and felt the time was right for her to go overseas.
"They decided that I should go to a western country to gain a broader perspective and knowledge of western music and culture."
In 2001, she moved to New Zealand and studied jazz at the University of Auckland School of Music.
In 2013, Roland launched a professional accordion model that Gong said "opened a whole new world".
The $14,000 FR-8x comes with a wide selection of sounds and four multi-effects engine, and the music it can create was just limited by her creativity, Gong said.
She started arranging hundreds of songs and recording her unique symphony orchestral repertoire of classical music, movie theme songs, rock classics and Chinese fusion music on the machine.
"Once I used to perform with an symphony orchestra, but with this magic machine, I can carry with me my own orchestra in this magic machine.
"Also like magic, this fantastic instrument has allowed me to create sounds of a combination of instruments and orchestral music pieces that are incredibly realistic."
Since then, she had performed for audiences from Beijing to New York and appeared on Beijing television and PBS in the United States.
Just before Covid struck, a typical week could see Gong flown from cruise ship to land-based performances and then back to a different cruise ship to entertain audiences.
"In a way, I am happy to be based in Auckland and am using this time to just catch a breather.
"My life has been good, and I am lucky to be able to live my passion. Now I am just looking forward to sharing it with my fellow Kiwis."
The Auckland Lantern Festival, which was postponed for a week because of Covid-19, will now take place from March 4 to 7.
The event will be held at the new waterfront venue of Captain Cook and Marsden Wharves at Ports of Auckland, and will be ticketed with specific entry times. People wanting to watch Gong's performance will need to be there at 5pm on Thursday.
Free tickets to the festival are available at aucklandnz.com/lantern