I charge by the job rather than by the hour. I take into consideration several factors including travel time, amount of necessary equipment, whether I will need to bring an assistant, and how long the event is.
I usually ask new clients to tell me ten songs they love, and also five songs they hate! This gives me a good idea of the preferences of the host. Of course, when entertaining large groups of people I rely on my experience and intuition as well, but I am open to as much direction as my clients provide.
A "born performer," I have been practicing music in some form since I was a tiny child. Beginning with musical theater productions and several gigs as a vocalist, I started my own band and developed my technical skills with a variety of equipment and software. My greatest asset is my diverse musical taste!