After his studies at the Lemmens Instituut in Leuven and the Brussels Conservatory, where he graduated in trumpet and chamber music, Manu Mellaerts pursued his studies with Pierre Thibaud in Paris (FR), Roger Delmotte in Versailles (FR) and Edward Tarr in Basel (CH). Until 1986, Mellaerts worked as a trumpet player for the VRT Philharmonic Orchestra and as a teacher for Lemmens Instituut. Afterwards, he became first solo trumpet player with the Orchestra of La Monnaie in Brussels. Mellaerts also lectures at the Brussels Conservatory.
Manu Mellaerts performs as a soloist and with chamber music ensembles. Together with Belgian organist Luc Ponet he forms a duo, performing in Belgium and abroad. As from 2007, he is musical director of the Festival Brass Band. Furthermore, he is a member of the Monnaie brass quintet and artistic director of the Belgian Brass ensemble.