At an early age Jacobus Bernardus van der Walt, aka Bernardt James, demonstrated exceptional musical ability and chose the piano as his creative medium. With the guidance of his music teacher Marietjie Steyn, Bernardt was able to quickly develop his talent and soon began writing his own music. He would go on to use his compositions in local talent competitions as well as for examinations. He studied classical and contemporary music in Pretoria, South Africa.
As Bernardt matured as a musician he was influenced by many artists including the following: David Foster, Chopin, Edvard Grieg, Sting and Yann Tiersen. Bernardt has appeared on the televised talent shows Crescendo (ATKV) and Geraas. A number of his compositions have also aired on local radio stations. Between 2003 and 2005 Bernardt performed at The Palace of the Lost City (Sun City) as the resident pianist. While there he performed daily at The Crystal Court and Villa del Palazzo.
More recently Bernardt has performed predominantly in Johannesburg at venues including: The Residence, Sandton Convention Centre, The Grace Hotel, Gold Reef City, Sandton Sun, The Hilton, Irene Lodge and The Maximilien (Sandton).
Bernardt records and arranges all of his own music and has collaborated other artists.
He continues to work on his original music whilst performing as a solo pianist. In 2009 Bernardt produced "Heavenly piano", 2012 "Mooiste Mooiste Klaviertreffers" albums for bestselling South African pianist, Martin Lane.
Since 2012 Bernardt released 5 studio albums. The latest original album was released in 2017 entitled "Unresolved".
He is currently recording his 6th studio album which will be released in 2019.
May 2013 - A song to remember (available on digital stores worldwide and CD)
August 2014 - Music all around (available on digital stores worldwide and CD)
November 2017 - Unresolved (available on digital stores worldwide)