Sipho Gumede ''was born in Cato Manor, a then mainly Indian area in Durban. From a young age he showed interest in music, playing on a homemade guitar. He was exposed to all kinds of music and furthered his guitar talent on a borrowed instrument instead of the homemade version''.
''At the age of 16 he met the jazz guitarist Cyril Magubane. For Sipho, this was his first introduction to jazz and its masters, like Wes Montgomery. He learnt to play bass guitar, and soon got his first professional musical job as a member of the group the Jazz Revellers. Two years later he left his home for Johannesburg, where the met more great musicians at Dorkay House in Eloff Street. He worked with Dennis Mpale and Cocky Tlhotlhalemaje and then Dick Khoza, whom he had already met a few years before. Sipho went on his first tour of the country with Gibson Kente. After a sabbatical to work on his technique, he teamed up with other jazz musicians to form the outfit Roots. They were Jabu Nkosi, Barney Rachabane, Duke Makasi, Dennis Mpale and Enoch Mtlelane. But Roots did not last too long, and when it ended, Sipho joined Bheki Mseleku. Together they later formed Spirits Rejoice, a jazz-fusion band.''