One of the most unfortunate musical trends of my lifetime was the sudden and suspicious rush that bands made to "integrate" DJs into their lineups in the late '90s. With their tacked-on, zeitgeist-chasing scritch-scratchin', groups like Limp Bizkit and Linkin Park made live-band turntablism almost permanently uncool.

Lucky for us, as part of this year's Time-Based Arts Festival, local emcee, producer, and DJ extraordinaire Ohmega Watts will scrape away all of that negative associational detritus, exposing the glistening, golden potential for groove hidden underneath, as he performs a collaborative DJ set, sharing the stage and sound system in real time with a super group of Portland-based jazz-funk musicians assembled by pianist, composer, and arranger Ben Darwish. Darwish spoke with me about this project, dubbed "Live Band vs. Ohmega Watts":

MERCURY: How did the idea for Live Band vs. Ohmega Watts come about?

DARWISH: I started hanging around The Fix too often. I noticed that Ohmega has really good and eclectic taste in music. I realized that DJing is actually an art form and isn't just playing records. I also noticed that he plays a lot of horn-driven funk tunes and I'd been thinking about putting a band together like that for some time.

How did you select and recruit band members?

I chose some of the best and most versatile musicians in Portland. John Nastos primarily plays tenor and alto saxes but can also double on soprano sax, flute, clarinet, and even EWI [electronic wind instrument]. A.G. Donnaloia on guitar should be a household name in P-town. He plays with Lifesavas' live band and the Liv Warfield Experience. Reinhardt Melz is a superman on the drums—nails every style from funk and hiphop to complex jazz and Latin. Especially the latter since he's the son of Bobby Torres, Portland's resident Latin superstar. Justin Partney on trumpet is a solid player and has performed with Uprite Dub Orchestra and Thomas Mapfumo.

What can people expect from the show?

A band and a DJ performing together and separately. When separate, one side is holding down the foundation of the song and the other group is adding. This show takes a lot of improvisation skills and that's another reason why I chose the band. Everyone in the band has a solid background in jazz. Keep your eyes out for a special guest, too.

How is performing with Ohmega different from what you do primarily as a jazz player?

It's a lot different. We're playing more instrumental funk. Obscure tunes. But the hardest part is trying to create a successful musical experience. I've seen several groups that use a DJ in the background, adding a scratch here and a scratch there, but this is totally different. We are treating Ohmega like a band himself.

Anything else you'd like to add?

The Leftbank used to be called "The Dude Ranch" in the mid-1900s. It was Portland's top jazz club and brought in musicians like Louis Armstrong and Thelonious Monk. What a fitting venue for this show.

Live Band vs. Ohmega Watts on Thursday, September 11 at 10:3 0pm at The Leftbank (240 N Broadway) as part of TBA's "The Works." All Ages. $8-10.