Don Groover was 13 years old when musical lightning struck. He heard a neighborhood kid playing an electric guitar in his basement.

“I thought, oh my God, I want to do that,” Mr. Groover said. “My dad got me a $5 acoustic, and I went from there. It’s something I always worked at, and still do. It was just such a love that I just couldn’t put it down.”

Fundraiser party for Don Groover is Sunday, beginning at 4 p.m. — Jaxon White

It has been 49 years since he first picked up that six-string, and he hasn’t put it down yet. That early love affair resulted in teenage gigs at schools and golf resorts, then at bigger venues, until 1989, when he first started visiting Martha’s Vineyard.

He moved to the Island that fall, and took a job as a graphic designer with the Vineyard Gazette. It seemed only natural that he jump into the Vineyard music scene, and it was fortuitous that among the first people he met were Johnny and Barbara Hoy.

“I played bass my first summer here,” Mr. Groover said. “It was great. Johnny and Barbara were really special. I was amazed at how good, how well the people played that were here.”

A versatile professional musician who also has a degree from the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Mr. Groover spent nearly 30 years playing steadily in Island venues with a number of different bands, including House Band, Mercybeat, and Sabrina and the Groovers. He also enjoys playing at smaller gigs, including local merchant markets, and house parties.

“I have so many different bands because I like so many different things,” he said. “I try not to have any two bands play the same songs.”

He has played with almost every Island musician through the years, including Susan Tedeschi, when she was a regular here. Ms. Tedeschi went on to become a superstar guitar player and vocalist with the Tedeschi Trucks Band.

“She would come down to the Vineyard with a guitar player and a harmonica player,” Mr. Groover said. “My buddy would play drums and I played bass for them.”

Recently Mr. Groover ran into some health issues that have slowed him a bit. Surgery for lung cancer involved some complications which have required many off-Island medical trips, and his treatment continues.

On Nov. 11, from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. at the Portuguese-American Club, his many friends are staging Grooverfest, a benefit performance by Vineyard musicians. Among others, the Space Invaders, John Alaimo, Blue Yonder, Rosie’s Ritzy Review, Missis (and Mr.) Biskis, The Black Eyed-Susans, Johnny Hoy and the Bluefish are scheduled to play.

Ellen Biskis, a frequent musical partner of Mr. Groover, said there was no doubt the Island would come together for a benefit to help him offset medical and travel bills, because Mr. Groover is always the first to step up when someone else needs help.

“The buzz was, we gotta do something,” Mrs. Biskis said. “I just had to establish the date, and the number of people who have contacted me, it’s just amazing. Just about everybody feels like all the things Don did for them, they all want to be involved to give back, because he is such a generous guy. He’s always looking to help somebody out.”

Another friend, guitarist Buck Shank agreed that Mr. Groover is one of the people others rely upon to organize benefits for others.

“Absolutely. He just jumps at it, he just loves it,” said Mr. Shank. “He organizes everything and makes the posters. He’s always the first one to step up. It’s great we can finally give it back to him, at least a little bit anyway. He was one of the first guys I met 30 years ago when I moved out here. He was playing guitar and I was playing guitar. He showed me the ropes, he got me started out here. There couldn’t be a nicer guy, probably the nicest guy I know.”

Mr. Shank expects a blow out good time at the Grooverfest benefit.

“I think it’s going to be a great eclectic mix of people,” he said. “It’s going to be a pretty big jam. I expect it’s just going to be a blast.”

While he still needs to take things slowly, Mr. Groover said he hopes to be able to play a few tunes Saturday.

“I haven’t played my guitar in a couple months,” Mr. Groover said. “I’ve been playing it a little bit here and there, with the idea that maybe I’ll get up and play a couple of tunes, we’ll see.”