The Grammy Award-winning musician's representative confirmed that he died in Manhattan, New York after suffering a cardiac arrest.

Coleman was a jazz saxophonist, composer, violinist and trumpeter who was widely considered a major innovator of the free jazz movement.

He burst onto the music scene in 1959 with his album The Shape of Jazz to Come and was feted for his avant-garde approach to the genre.

His career spanned four decades and in 2006 he released Sound Grammar, a live album he recorded in Germany, which won him the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for music.

Coleman was honoured with a Grammy Award for lifetime achievement in 2007 in recognition of his music legacy.

He was married to late poet and activist Jayne Cortez, but the pair split in 1954. They shared a son, Denardo.