Lemeshev was born on the island of Sakhalin, RSFSR, Soviet Union.He emigrated to the United States in 1989, and became well known in New York City's East Village for his performances in bistros, wearing various hats and wigs. He has shared the stage and/or recorded with Nicole Renaud, Greg Wall, Mary Wooten and Matt Darriau, and worked as a trio called Tridruga with bassist Tony Scherr and guitarist Brad Shepik. In 2001, he joined Gogol Bordello.
He also started a duo with theremin player Pamelia Kurstin in 2007.
• Yuri Lemeshev Solo — Live at Jules (Tillotson) 1995
• Tridruga — Love Slave Records 2000