Louis Sarno (July 3, 1954 – April 1, 2017) was an American musicologist and author. In the mid-1980s he lived among a Bayaka Pygmy clan in the Central African Republic, and recorded their music. His experiences were published as Song From The Forest, which was included among the "99 books that capture the spirit of Africa" by Geoff Wisner.
Louis Sarno was born and raised in Newark, New Jersey. In 1985 he went to Africa to record the music of a pygmy tribe. He "combined recordings of Bayakan music with sounds of their surrounding environment into a two-CD/book package entitled Bayaka: The Extraordinary Music of the BaBenzl Pygmies (Ellipsis Arts)."
Louis Sarno was married to a Bayakan and has two sons. He lives in the forests of Central Africa. The documentary film Song from the Forest by German director Michael Obert tells his life´s story. The film premiered at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam 2013 where it was honored with the Award for Best Feature-Length Documentary. A movie based on Sarno´s life called Oka! ("Oka" is pygmy for "Listen") was released in 2011. Sarno died on April 1, 2017 in Teaneck, New Jersey.
- Swains, Howard (April 18, 2015). "Inside the World of Louis Sarno, the Pygmy Chief From New Jersey". Newsweek. Retrieved April 4, 2017.
- Geoff Wisner (2008). A basket of leaves: 99 books that capture the spirit of Africa. Jacana Media. p. 28. ISBN 978-1-77009-206-8.
- Louis Sarno, an interview by Deni Kasrel. Philadelphia City Paper, June 13–20, 1996.
- Young, Neil (November 23, 2013). "Song From the Forest: IDFA Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 14, 2017.
- Kohn, Eric (April 6, 2015). "In ‘Song From the Forest,’ Louis Sarno Joins a Pygmy Tribe, Starts a Family and Returns to New York". IndieWire. Retrieved April 14, 2017.
- Macnab, Geoffrey (November 29, 2013). "Song From The Forest wins at IDFA". ScreenDaily. Retrieved 2017-04-14.
- "Song From the Forest wins IDFA Award". International Documentary Filmfestival Amersterdam. Retrieved April 14, 2017.[dead link]
- "Louis J. Sarno, Age 62". The Hunterdon County News. April 4, 2017. Retrieved April 4, 2017.
- Planets Above and Below, Volume I, Grues and Kirns, is dedicated to Louis Sarno