Nathan Breeskin, 85, an attorney for the federal government who played the saxophone at seven inaugurations and for five presidents, died at home Sept. 18 of complications from renal failure. He had lived in Silver Spring since 1950.
Mr. Breeskin was born in Washington to a musical family. His father, Daniel Breeskin, led the orchestra at the old Earl Theater in Washington. His brother, Barnee, wrote "Hail to the Redskins" and was the bandleader at the Shoreham Blue Room for more than 30 years. His brother-in-law played with the Dorsey Brothers Band.
Mr. Breeskin's first musical instrument was the violin, and as a 12-year-old, he played with an orchestra, Walter Doe and the Do Re Mi Boys, in shows broadcast on radio.
He also played the violin in Central High School's orchestra. At 17, he began playing the saxophone in nightclubs in Washington, and in 1936 began playing society dates with Sidney of the Mayflower.
He graduated from high school in 1936 and received his law degree from American University in the early 1940s.
During World War II, he worked for the federal government on property issues for munitions factories. He joined Howard Devron's band in 1945, becoming Devron's first bandleader, and worked many embassy parties, in addition to inaugural balls and White House engagements.
In 1948, he became a lawyer with the National Labor Relations Board, retiring in 2001 after 62 years of government service. Given his musical interests, legal background and accounting experience, he also provided advice on income tax to musicians.
Survivors include his wife of 62 years, Sylvia Breeskin of Silver Spring; two children, Michael Breeskin of Denver and Robin Levien of Bethesda; and four grandchildren.